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Another member of drug ring sent to county prison

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

Another member of a Carbon County drug selling ring was sent to prison following a guilty she entered Thursday morning. She was one of three involved in drug dealing who entered guilty pleas before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic.

Wanda Andrews, 46, of 52 Fairyland Rd., Lehighton, entered a plea to one count of criminal use of a communication facility (a felony), and was immediately sentenced by Nanovic to serve four to one day less 24 months in the county prison.

Andrews was arrested during a drug roundup on Feb. 27 conducted by local and state police and agents of the state Attorney General's office. Warrants were issued for 10 persons with eight arrested at their homes that morning and a ninth at the county prison. Several of the defendants have already pleaded guilty and were sentenced by the court.

Andrews told Nanovic she did sell some drugs and admitted selling to a confidential informant (CI). She denied traveling regularly to Allentown and other areas to get drugs and bring them back to Carbon County for sale. She said she sold to support her own habit. She told the court, "It ruined my life."

Nanovic said he didn't believe her story that she was not an active player in the drug ring. He said the police report indicated sales were made at her home and phone logs indicated her activity in the sales.

Nanovic also ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, cooperate with the district attorney in the prosecution of co-defendants, pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee.

She was given credit for one day spent in jail on the charge. A request to delay the start date of the jail term for three weeks was denied by Nanovic. He said he would give her a week. Andrews must report to the county prison on Friday, Oct. 9, at noon.

Jim Thorpe incident

Jose Martinez, 19, of Allentown, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

He was arrested on March 25 in the 1200 block of North St., Jim Thorpe. He and three other suspects came to Jim Thorpe to sell heroin to a confidential informant. The sale was set up by borough police and the county drug task force.

The four arrived in a Honda sedan and two exited the vehicle and made the sale. After the transaction was completed police moved in and attempted to make the arrest. Martinez was in the car with another suspect. The car sped away and a chase ensued. The chase ended a short distance away from the scene and Martinez and the driver then fled on foot. The two were eventually taken into custody as was the other two who made the actual sale. Police found 61 bags of heroin in the car.

The other defendants in the case, all from Allentown, were Ivan Reyes, 18, the driver; Christian Ortiz, 18, and Carolos Gonzales, 22, the two who exited the car and made the actual sale, according to police.

Reyes previously pleaded guilty and is serivng a prison term. The cases against Ortiz and Gonzales are pending.

Nanovic accepted the plea but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.

Lehighton incident

Gilbert Rolon, 21, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested on March 16 at an apartment at the Gypsy Hill Gardens in Lehighton. Agents of the state Attorney General's office and local police served a warrant on the apartment. Found inside was 80 bags of heroin and $364 in cash.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve nine to one day less 24 months in the county prison followed by one year probation. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on drug or alcohol use, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee.

He was given credit for 200 days spent in jail on the charge. It was also noted he has a detainer filed against him from Lehigh County for violating his parole in that county.

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