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Coaldale burglary suspect faces charges in Lansford

Published August 13. 2010 05:00PM

A North Carolina man accused of burglaries in Coaldale has now been charged in Lansford.

Christopher Link, 21, of 2254 RL Routh Dr., Franklinville, NC., faces a charge of false identification to law enforcement. He was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford and remains jailed under $1,500 for that charge.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Lansford officer Joshua Tom on July 15, here's what happened: At 10 p.m. July 4, Tom was on duty when he spotted a male setting off a large firework in the middle of West Ridge Street. He stopped and told the man to stop doing that. Tom tried to identify the man through driver's license or photo identification for his report, but the man became very argumentative, demanding to know why Tom was asking "all these questions."

The man finally told Tom he was Brian Link, 23. But he could not provide an address, just that he was from North Carolina.

The conversation was interrupted by Lisa Raposo, who is identified as Brian Link's girlfriend's mother, who took the blame for the fireworks in the street. "Brian" Link then fell back in with the crowd.

After clearing the call, Tom, considering how nervous Link appeared during their conversation, decided to check with the Carbon County Communications Center, asking them to run Brian Link for further information in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

The Communications Center found nothing on the man, given the information he had provided.

Tom spoke with Lansford Officer Jeff Ohl, who told him the man was actually Christopher Link, and that he may be wanted in North Carolina for burglaries and drug offenses. Ohl is currently investigating Link on another case; personal property and possible identification were found, but nothing with a picture.

On July 6, Tom checked with Adult Probation in North Carolina and confirmed that there is only a Christopher Link, who is 21, 6-foot, 3 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Tom then double-checked with the help of Lansford Detective-Sargeant Jack Soberick with the information provided by North Carolina and ran Link's name through the JNET system. The search revealed that Link has an outstanding warrant in North Carolina. That state's adult probation department also provided Tom with a recent photo of Link, which positively identifies him as the same person Tom spoke with on July 4.

Link, who was staying at 139 Second St., Coaldale, faces charges of burglary, criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property, theft by unlawful taking or disposition; violations of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms; violations of the Controlled Substance Act: drugs, poisons, and dangerous substances; possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, and unlawful possession of cocaine, ecstasy, vicodin in that borough.

The charges stem from Link's alleged burglary of a home at 163 Second St., Coaldale, breaking in through a basement window during the day in late July and stealing $2,750 in cash bills, jewelry and collector coins. A confidential informant alerted Lansford police, who had a warrant out for Link's arrest, of his whereabouts. The informant told Soberick that Link and his girlfriend, Nicole Raposo, had bragged about the burglary at 163 Second St. and at homes in Lansford.

Link remains in Schuylkill County prison under $50,000 straight cash bail in addition to the $1,500 bail on the Lansford identification charge. Coaldale Police Chief Tim Delaney said Link allegedly sold several of the items stolen in his borough to a pawnshop in Lehighton. Delaney said another handgun, a .357 Magnum, remains unaccounted for.

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