Drug dealers plead guilty; man admits to sexual assault
Two men admitted to drug dealing while a former county resident pleaded to a sexual assault count on Thursday in Carbon County court. They were among several defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Joseph Kenneth Drakeford, 33, admitted to selling cocaine to a confidential informant (CI) at various locations in Carbon County.
Drakeford was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office following an ongoing investigation of cocaine trafficking in the county. The arrest report indicated that Drakeford was under surveillance by agents of the AG office for some time. He was arrested on Jan. 1.
Nanovic accepted the plea but deferred sentencing ordering a presentence investigation (PSI) be prepared by the adult probation office.
Ian Cheign Curtis, 22, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
He was arrested by agents of the AG office for three separate incidents of selling cocaine and heroin to a CI in the Palmerton area. The report indicated that Curtis was targeted in an ongoing drug trafficking investigation. The incidents occurred on Feb. 12 and May 16, 2008, and July 17, 2007.
Nanovic accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Thomas Charles Witter, 34, formerly of Lansford, pleaded to one count of indecent assault. He was arrested by Lansford police for an incident on March 23, 2007, at a home along Oak Street.
The police report indicated the female victim came to the home with other women following a night of "bar hopping" and drank some more. She fell asleep and woke up when she felt someone touching her. Witter was lying next to her naked from the waist down as was she. Witter only admitted to inappropriately touching the girl and not forcing himself on her.
Nanovic accepted the plea but deferred sentencing noting the charge falls under the provisions of Megan's Law.
Witter will have to be evaluated by the state sexual offenders evaluation board to determine if he is a violent sexual offender. Witter is currently in the Luzerne County prison facing other criminal counts.
Erik R. Boehm, 30, of Lehighton, entered guilty pleas in three pending cases. He pleaded to one count of unsworn falsification to law enforcement authorities, and three counts of simple assault.
The unsworn charge stems from an incident on Aug. 10, 2008, in Palmerton when he gave a false statement to police in a driving under the influence (DUI) case.
The first assault count stems from a March 14 incident at Cindy's Rusty Nail bar at 939 Mauch Chunk Rd., Palmerton. Boehm was causing a disturbance in the bar and was asked to leave by the owner, Cindy Whiteman. When she attempted to escort him from the premises he assaulted her.
The other two assault counts occurred on May 2, 2008, along S. Second St., in Lehighton, in JD Citro's tavern. He was unruly in the bar and assaulted patrons Floyd Lundy and Daniel Leslie.
Boehm admitted to an alcohol abuse problem and said the incidents occurred when he was under the influence. He also has prior arrests for illegal drugs and is currently in the Lehigh County prison facing drug charges.
Nanovic deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI be prepared.
Timothy R. Tappan, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count each of DUI and terroristic threats. The two incidents occurred on the same date, May 23, in Lehighton.
The threats charge stems from an incident where he made threats to David S. Leone and David J. Leone, along S. Second St. When police responded to the threats report Tappan fled on a moped bike. He was later found and taken into custody.
He was under the influence of alcohol and taken for a blood test which revealed a .18BAC.
Tappan denied the police report that he had a gun when he threatened the Leone's. He said he threatened to return with a gun during the incident, which he claimed for alcohol-fueled. He said he didn't know the victims prior to the incident.
On the DUI charge Nanovic sentenced him to serve five days to six months in prison, a fine of $300 and costs and a one year license suspension. On the threats count he was placed on probation for a year consecutive to the DUI sentence. He was given four days credit for time spent in jail on the threats charge.
He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment and zero tolerance on D&A use. He will begin the jail term on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. It was noted he has another DUI charge pending in Lehigh County.
Renee L. Riley, 31, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count each of DUI and disorderly conduct. She was arrested on Aug. 22 along Third St., in Jim Thorpe. She refused to submit to a blood test and will lose her license for a year. At the stop and subsequent arrest she became unruly and cited for the conduct count.
On the DUI charge Nanovic sentenced her to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000 and costs, and another one year suspension. She must also get a D&A evaluation. On the conduct count she was placed on probation for year which runs consecutive to the DUI charge. She will begin the jail term on Dec. 5 at 8 a.m.
She also pleaded to four motor vehicle code violations and was fined a total of $100 and costs.
Jean Marie Boerner, 42, of Weatherly, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on Sept. 25, 2005, along Mauch Chunk St., in Mahoning Township, after being stopped for speeding. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.
A first offense, Nanovic placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to get a D&A evaluation. On a summary motor vehicle code violation she was fined $25 and costs. She was given credit for two days spent in jail on the charge.
Angela Marie Barachie, 33, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office on Oct. 7 at room 42 at the Mahoning Inn along SR443 in Lehighton. She and two others in the room were found to have smoking devices for marijuana.
Nanovic placed her on probation for a year and ordered she get a D&A evaluation and imposed zero tolerance on D&A use.
Charissa Michelle Butchko, 25, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of carrying a firearm without a license. She was arrested on July 13 by Jim Thorpe police after her father, Martin Butchko, reported she had taken two guns belonging to him, a revolver and a rifle.
She told Nanovic she sold the one gun to a gun dealer. Assistant District Attorney Michael Greek said the other weapon was later recovered and the one sold was also returned to the owner.
Butchko admitted to a heroin abuse problem at the time of the incident.
Nanovic placed her on probation for two years and ordered she get a D&A evaluation, complete her current treatment for heroin abuse, make restitution of $145 to the gun dealer, get her General Education Diploma (GED), secure full-time employment, zero tolerance on D&A use and render three hours of community service per month while on probation.
Kimberly A. Gensey, 32, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of persistent disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She was arrested on Oct. 7 in Mahoning Township. She was involved in a domestic incident with her then boyfriend and was intoxicated when police arrived.
When told to stop her conduct she refused and continued despite several warnings. After police placed her under arrest she resisted.
She was placed on probation for a year on each charge, running consecutively, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation and have no contact with the victim. She was given credit for 38 days spent in jail on the charges.
Katelyn Anne Roth, 20, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. She was arrested by Jim Thorpe police on Sept. 12 at the Turkey Hill Market on Susquehanna St. She took a cellular phone belonging to Frederick Beers. The phone was recovered and returned to the victim, it was noted.
Nanovic placed her on probation for a year and ordered she pay a fine of $250, get a D&A evaluation and render three hours of community service per month while on probation.
Steven Matthew Craigie, 25, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Oct. 17, 2007, along SR534 in Penn Forest Township after being involved in an accident. Given a test, the result was .09BAC.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500 and costs, and one year license suspension. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation.
All the defendants sentenced must pay a $50 per month supervision while on probation or parole.