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Another defendant in drug stamp case pleads guilty

Published April 18. 2012 05:01PM

Another defendant in the case of inmates at the Carbon County prison smuggling illegal substances into the jail by using the mail sent to them, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday afternoon in the county court. Also, a Lansford couple pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to minors after being removed from a special probation program.

The cases were before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.

Stamp case

Daniel J. Thorpe, 27, currently an inmate at the prison, pleaded to one count of criminal attempt-contraband into the prison. He admitted his part in having the controlled substance Suboxone sent to him at the jail. The drug was placed underneath the stamps of letters sent to several inmates at the jail.

Suboxone is a drug used to treat heroin addiction and is commonly produced in pill form. However, it is now being manufactured in thin, film-like strips, very similar to the popular breath freshening strips.

Thorpe was one of 11 arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office at part of what District Attorney Gary F. Dobias called "Operation Postage Stamp." He is the latest in the group to enter a guilty plea.

The investigation into the incident began in January 2011 when Warden Joseph Gross intercepted three letters containing Suboxone underneath the stamps of the letters. He turned over the information to the AG office which conducted the probe.

At the time of his arrest Thorpe was serving a three to 12 month prison term on other criminal charges.

Nanovic accepted the plea and agreed to go along with a plea bargain in which Thorpe would be sentenced to serve one day less one year to one day less two years in the county prison. The sentencing was deferred, however, when Thorpe questioned the 100 days of credit he was go be given in the case. He claimed he deserved more time.

Nanovic instructed the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) which will include a determination of the credit due.

Furnishing case

Destiny L. Bookhardt, 20, and Corey David Rehrig, 23, both of Lansford, and formerly of Jim Thorpe, entered guilty pleas to one count each of furnishing alcohol to minors.

They were arrested on March 13, 2010, by Jim Thorpe police at 30 E. Fourth St. Police were called to the residence by the mother of a female juvenile who was passed out due to intoxication.

Police learned that Bookhardt and Rehrig provided alcohol to a male juvenile and he gave it to the female. The male was reportedly a relative of Rehrig.

Both were placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but were revoked from it for failure to pay costs and violating other conditions.

The two had bench warrants issued for their arrests when they failed to show up for a probation violation proceeding scheduled when the adult probation office moved to revoke them from the ARD program.

The two were eventually revoked from the ARD program and had their cases scheduled for trail.

Nanovic accepted the pleas and placed both on probation for a year and ordered each to pay a fine of $1,000, get drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.

Other pleas

Two other defendants in pending cases pleaded guilty.

Del Troy Schmick Jr., 47, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty to one count each of defiant trespass and simple assault.

He was arrested by Summit Hill police for an incident on Oct. 2, 2006, along N. Oak St. Police responded to the area for a report of an assault.

Police learned that Schmick kicked in a door at a home along N. Oak and assaulted the resident, Faith Richards.

It was noted that Schmick and Richards had a relationship that was ending and he had lived at the home but was told to leave, police said.

Schmick applied for placement in the ARD program but failed to appear for the hearing. The DA's office then requested a bench warrant for his arrest and the ARD offer was withdrawn.

On the assault count Nanovic placed Schmick on probation for two years and on the trespass count one year, with the terms running concurrently.

Schmick was also ordered to get both D&A and mental health evaluations, have no contact with Richards, and make restitution of $2,196.60 to the victim.

Rita Marie Cammock, 48, of Albrightsville, pleaded guilty to one count of recklessly endangering another person.

She was arrested on Nov. 26, 2011, when state police at Fern Ridge were dispatched to the home when Cammock's eight-year-old son had called the county communications center to report his mother was unconscious. Troopers and medical personnel arrived on scene and found Cammock in the kitchen area and a hypodermic needle nearby.

She admitted to using drugs and since the incident has gone through a drug inpatient rehab program and continues counseling.

Drug counts were dropped in exchange for the reckless endangering count which is tied to her son present at the scene.

Nanovic placed her on probation for two years and ordered she get a D&A evaluation, and imposed zero tolerance on D&A use.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.

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