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Lansford woman gets prison term for robbery

Published September 22. 2010 05:00PM

A Lansford woman, who was convicted by a jury of robbery of a pharmacy, was sentenced to a state prison on Tuesday in Carbon County court.

Tracey Hicks, 44, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to serve one to two years in a state correctional institution followed by four years of state probation.

Hicks was convicted on June 11 of robbery, criminal conspiracy-receiving stolen property and receiving stolen property. She was charged by Nesquehoning police for her part in a robbery at the CVS pharmacy at 20 E. Locust St., that occurred on Oct. 16, 2008.

Charged with her in the incident was her husband Jack K. Ensel, 49. His case is still pending in the county court.

Police said Hicks was driving the getaway car, a Chevrolet Blazer, when her husband allegedly entered the store and took a large quantity of drugs.

A witness obtained the license plate number of the Blazer and called the county communications center. The center ran the plate number and determined it belonged to Hicks. Police were waiting for Hicks when she returned home and took her and Ensel into custody.

At the trial Hicks claimed she didn't know Ensel had robbed the pharmacy. She claimed she took him to the pharmacy. He came out sometime later and she drove him home. However, Assistant District Attorney James Lavelle presented a statement Hicks gave to police after being arrested. She told officers Ensel said to her he was going to "hit a pharmacy" on the morning of the incident.

Defense attorney Paul Levy asked Nanovic to sentence Hicks to a county prison term stating she has a long-term drug addiction problem that started with prescribed painkillers.

But Lavelle noted that Hicks has a long history of drug use that she has not address and noted she has violated probation in the past due to drug use. He said, "A county sentence is completely inappropriate in this case." He said Hicks participated in a robbery that occurred in broad daylight at a pharmacy where there were elderly people present.

Nanovic said the type of drug help Hicks needs can only be found in the state system not the local jail. He said, "She'll get the help she needs in the state system."

In addition to the jail term Nanovic ordered Hicks make restitution of $11,982.50 for the drugs taken in the robbery. She was also ordered to supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, get both a drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on drug and alcohol use, must obtain her General Education Diploma (GED), and to not enter the CVS store in Nesquehoning. She must also pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.

She was given credit for 331 days spent in jail to date on the charges.

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