Lehigh drug dealer enters guilty plea
A Lehigh County drug dealer entered a guilty plea in Carbon County court on Tuesday and is facing a prison term when sentenced. He was one of six defendants in pending cases to enter a plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Lorenzo Phillips, 36, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-crack cocaine.
Phillips was arrested on Dec. 21, 2011, following a vehicle stop in the 300 block of S. Ninth St., Lehighton.
Agents of the state Attorney General's office had Phillips under surveillance after receiving information from two confidential informants (CI) that he was trafficking crack cocaine in the Carbon County area.
When stopped and taken into custody Phillips admitted he was selling crack cocaine for about two months out of an apartment in Mahoning Township. He said he had 10 to 15 regular customers.
Under a plea agreement with the district attorney's office, other drug counts were dropped. It was also noted that the DA's office was invoking the mandatory provisions of the state controlled substance act.
Phillips is facing a mandatory minimum jail term of two years at the time of sentencing.
Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.
Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Nicholas Anthony Depalma, 29, of Albrightsville, entered pleas in two pending cases.
He pleaded to two counts of theft, both felony threes, for incidents on Oct. 24, and Nov. 25, of 2009.
He admitted his involvement in the theft of various landscaping and other type equipment including a backhoe and riding mowers.
One of the cases occurred in Monroe County with Anthony Columbo the listed victim. The items stolen in Monroe were found in Carbon. Another victim was Edgar L. Getz of Carbon. There was also a case in Lehigh County. All the cases were consolidated for prosecution in Carbon.
Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Stephen J. Kenion, 26, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and a summary offense of disorderly conduct.
He was arrested on Dec. 18, 2011, along Frist St., in Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .16BAC. When taken to the Lehighton hospital for a blood test he caused a disturbance which led to the conduct charge.
Serfass sentenced him to serve 30 days to six months in jail, a fine of $750, one year license suspension, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and render 25 hours of community service. On the summary charge he was fined $300.
He was given credit for 55 days spent in jail and paroled.
Bodean Edward Boggs, 22, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on July 29, 2011, by Lansford police for an incident in the area of 201 E. Kline Ave.
Serfass sentenced him to time served (177 days) to one year in jail, get a D&A evaluation, and render 50 hours of community service.
Allen R. Haydt, 56, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on March 3 along First St., in Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .28BAC. He has two prior DUI convictions but both are more than 10 years old.
Serfass placed him on probation for six months and ordered he pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Dawna L. Jones, 37, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
She was arrested on Jan. 13 along First St., in Lehighton. Given a test, the resulted showed the presence of a controlled substance. At the time of the stop police found her in possession of the drug paraphernalia.
On the DUI count Serfass sentenced her to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
On the possession count she was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service, consecutive to the DUI charge.
She will begin the jail term at noon on Friday, Aug. 3.
Two first time defendants were placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program by Serfass. If a person successfully completes the program their record is wiped clean. However, if the fail to complete it or are revoked from it, they will face trial on all the pending charges. A person does not admit guilt in entering the program.
William Romanisko, 65, of Lehighton, on a charge of DUI. He was arrested on Jan. 29 along First St., in Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .09BAC.
He was placed for a year and assessed $350 for the program, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation. No community service time was imposed due to Romanisko's health problems.
Michael E. Torrey Jr., 39, of Gilbert, was placed for two years on a charge of criminal attempt to secure a controlled substance. He was arrested on Nov. 15, 2011, by Lehighton police for attempting to secure a forged prescription for oxycodine at the First National Pharmacy.
He was assessed $350 and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render 100 hours of community service.
Each defendant sentenced and placed in the ARD program must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.