Defendants facing drug counts enter guilty pleas
Eleven defendants with pending drug charges against them entered guilty pleas Tuesday in Carbon County court. Senior Judge Richard W. Webb accepted the pleas from the following:
Heather Ann Rex, 24, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of criminal use of a communication device and possession of a controlled substance-crack cocaine.
She was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office as part of an ongoing investigation into the sale and use of crack cocaine in the county. She was charged for an incident on Oct. 7, 2009.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation (PSI) be prepared by the adult probation office.
Bradley Johnson, 58, of Lehighton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count each of possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-marijuana and possession of marijuana.
Agents of the AG office served a search warrant on his residence on Nov. 2, 2007. Found were 220 grams of methamphetamine and 943 grams of marijuana. He was also arrested following a vehicle stop on Dec. 9, 2007. Found in the car were six baggies of marijuana.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Robert Ahn, 30, of Lansford, pleaded to one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-cocaine, and possession. He was arrested by agents of the AG office on May 5, 2008, in the 200 block of E. Bertsch St. where he sold drugs to a confidential informant (CI).
Webb sentenced him to serve four to one day less than 24 months in prison on the possession with intent charge and one to 12 months on the possession count, with the terms running concurrently. He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and make restitution to the state for $50 used in the sale. He was given credit for 34 days spent in jail on the charge.
He begins the jail term on Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. and was granted work release privileges.
Michael Anthony Jordan II, 24, of Harrisburg, and formerly of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested by Palmerton police on Oct. 3, 2008, for an incident along Delaware Avenue and then by borough police on Oct. 30, 2008, following a vehicle stop.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Daniel C. Kane, 19, of Weatherly, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on June 8, 2009, at E. and W. Main St., at the railroad crossing, in Weatherly.
Webb placed him on probation for a year.
Ellen Lynn Kaplan, 51, of Palmerton, pleaded in three pending cases. She pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence for an incident on Dec. 17, 2007; driving under the influence (DUI) of a controlled substance for an incident on April 10, 2009; and receiving stolen property for an incident involving a computer which was stolen from the Blue Mountain Health Systems Hospital in Palmerton.
Kaplan was employed as a registered nurse in the ICU of the hospital.
Defense attorney George T. Dydynsky said Kaplan got involved in drug use after a tragedy in her life. A police report indicated a search of her home resulted in the finding of the missing computer from the hospital and also various drug paraphernalia including scales, pipes and cutting agents used in drug transactions. Also a book containing names of apparent buyers was observed and later missing which led to the tampering charge.
Kaplan told Webb she has since addressed her drug addiction problem and is currently drug free.
On the possession of paraphernalia charge she was placed on probation for a year, on the tampering charge probation for a year, both concurrent, and six months probation on the DUI count, consecutive to the other charges. On the receiving charge a year probation concurrent to the others was given.
She was also ordered to pay a fine of $300 for the DUI count, get a D&A evaluation, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
Justin Lee Moss, 19, of Slatington, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on Aug. 13, 2009, by Palmerton police at his then residence in the borough.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered a D&A evaluation.
Christopher Michael Newton, 30, of Pennsauken, N.J., pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested at the Blue Mountain Ski Area in Lower Towamensing Township.
State police responded to the ski area for a theft of a snowboard incident involving Newton. Found on him was heroin.
Webb noted that Newton has seven prior drug arrests. Webb sentenced him to serve four to one day less 24 months in prison, and ordered a D&A evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
He begins the jail term on Friday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. He was given credit for two days spent in jail on the charge.
Eric William Romanishan, 21, of Bath, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on June 28, 2009, by state police at Lehighton following a vehicle stop along SR248 near the Palmerton exit.
Webb placed him on probation for 30 days.
Johnathon Andrew Rutman, 26, of Weissport, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on June 24, 2008, along Blakeslee Blvd., in Lehighton. Police responded to the scene of an accident in which Rutman was injured. While being treated by medical personnel a pipe used in drug use was found on him.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get a D&A evaluation.
Terrance A. Weir, 59, of Hershey, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on Oct. 26, 2009, at the Emerald Restaurant in Jim Thorpe. Police responded to the scene when Weir was involved in a dispute over his bill for services provided. During the incident marijuana was found on his person.
Webb sentenced him to serve 15 to 30 days in jail and gave him credit for 30 days already spent and paroled him. He was also ordered to make restitution to the restaurant for $8.99.
All defendants sentenced were also ordered to pay all court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee.