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Two more men arrested, jailed in Weatherly shootings

Published March 10. 2011 05:00PM

Two more men have been arrested by Weatherly police and charged with their part in a drive-by shooting that occurred in the borough this past February.

Arrested on Wednesday were Andrew L. Ortiz, 23, of 1060 W. 17th St., Hazleton, and Joshua Zachery Zink, 21, of 15 Maple Drive, Columbia. Their arrest makes the total of four now charged in the incident.

Police said all four men are responsible for firing numerous shots at three homes along Yeakle Street during the early morning hours of Feb. 13. Also struck was a vehicle in front of one of the homes, a garage and a utility pole.

Ortiz is charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, recklessly endangering another person, making false reports to police, falsely incriminating another person and carrying a firearm without a license. He was arraigned before District Judge Joseph Homanko, of Weatherly, and committed to the county prison in Nesquehoning after failing to post $35,000 straight cash bail.

Zink is charged with carrying firearms without a license, criminal conspiracy, recklessly endangering another person and possession an instrument of crime. He was jailed in lieu of $250,000 straight cash bail imposed by Homanko.

Previously arrested in the case were James M. Delbo, 32, a former resident of Ashland, now listing a McAdoo address, and Christopher R. Harris, 23, of McAdoo.

The four are charged with firing shots at 319, 327 and 335 Yeakle St. Ann estimated 23 rounds were fired from two weapons, a 9mm and .22-caliber handguns.

Two of the homes were occupied at the time but none of the residents were injured. One home was occupied by Tara and Stephen Barnic and their three children and the other by Thomas and Charlaine Powell.

Officer Mike Bogart is the prosecuting officer in the case.

Bogart said the investigation developed two stories. He said Ortiz and Harris tried to pin the shooting on Delbo. But the investigation revealed Delbo was the driver of the car and that Ortiz and Harris actually fired the shots. Zink's involvement was that he was present, removed the registration plate from the Dodge vehicle used prior to the shooting and then put it back on afterward.

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