Schuylkill man gets state prison term for drug dealing; others plea
A Schuylkill County man was sentenced to a state prison term in Carbon County court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to drug dealing. He was one of 11 defendants in pending cases to enter a plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.
Dominick Gonzalez, 47, of Minersville, was sentenced to serve 24 to 48 months in a state prison on a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
He was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office on Sept. 26 in Penn Forest Township where he made a sale of 50 bags of heroin to a confidential informant (CI).
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, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and when released on parole render 200 hours of community service. He was given credit for 76 days spent in jail on the charge to date.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
David G. Keen Jr., 27, of Lehighton, entered pleas in three pending cases.
He pleaded to one count of burglary for a break-in on Sept. 29, 2008, of the home of his father, David Keen Sr., along Beaver Run Road, in Mahoning Township, in which a firearm was taken. He pleaded to theft of a 2007 Ford Ranger belonging to Mack Murray on Feb. 13, and taken from his father's property; and another count of theft for taking various handguns on Feb. 2 from his father's home.
Keen is currently serving a two to 10 year state prison term imposed by Lehigh and Northampton counties. Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI).
James Neff, 29, an inmate at the county prison, pleaded to one count of escape. He was arrested on a complaint filed by the sheriff's department. Sheriff deputies attempted to serve him with a bench warrant on Oct. 10 in Lehighton and he fled on foot. He eventually turned himself in.
Serfass sentenced him to serve two to one day less 24 months in the county prison and ordered to render 100 hours of community service. He was given credit for 57 days spent in jail on the charge.
He is currently serving a prison term for a probation violation.
Adam E. Augustine, 23, of Palmerton, pleaded in two pending cases.
He pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-marijuana. He was arrested on March 19, 2011, in the area of 422 Lehigh St., Jim Thorpe. He pleaded to one count of simple assault for an incident at the same location and date in which Morgan Gavornik is the listed victim.
Police responded to the area to a report of a person out of control. On scene they found Augustine and illegal drugs.
Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Joseph J. Romano, 28, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of fleeing or eluding police and a summary offense of reckless driving. He was arrested by Mahoning Township police for an incident along Mahoning Drive.
He was speeding in a school zone (30.8 miles-per-hour in a 15 zone) at the Mahoning Elementary School and refused to stop for police. He was stopped after a short chase and did not have a license at the time.
Serfass sentenced him to serve three to 23 months in a state prison with credit for five days. The sentence is concurrent with a two to eight year state prison term he is currently serving.
He was also ordered to render 100 hours of community service when released on parole. On the reckless driving charge was fined $200 and costs.
Lana Rosemary Meixell, 56, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of retail theft. She was arrested by Mahoning Township police for an incident at the Walmart store. She was employed at the store at the time and was charged with taking merchandise valued at $164.02.
Serfass placed her on probation for 24 months and ordered he to make restitution of the $164.02, and render 100 hours of community service.
Robert Gardner, 25, of Hawley, Wayne County, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on April 6 along SR209 in Lehighton by borough police. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
A first offender, he was placed on probation for six months and ordered to pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Troy Allan Holtzer, 48, of Wilkes-Barre, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Aug. 16, 2010, along SR209 in Franklin Township, by township police. Given a test, the result was .09BAC. He was previously placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders, but was revoked from it for failure to complete all conditions.
Serfass sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. He was given credit for one day spent in jail on the charge and will begin serving the remaining day at 9 a.m. on Dec. 21.
Jeffrey Alan Stevens, 44, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on June 23 along Mahoning Drive West in Mahoning Township, by township police. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. He began the jail term at 10 a.m. on Dec. 12.
Jonathan Tappan, 19, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of carrying a firearm without a license. He was arrested on Nov. 5, 2011, at Hickory Run State Park in Kidder Township by park rangers. He is currently serving a term of 16 months to four years in a state prison in New York for a similar charge.
Serfass sentenced him to serve six to one day less 24 months in the county prison, with four days credit. When released on parole he must render 100 hours of community service.
Serfass rejected a request to have the term run concurrent with the New York sentence and ordered it run consecutive with that term.
Stephen Barclay, 21, of Palmerton, was sentenced to a total of two years probation on two counts of receiving stolen property. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Barclay was arrested by Palmerton borough police for his part in the theft of jewelry from the residence of Kelly Sommers, Delaware Avenue, which occurred on May 15, 2010. Taken was various jewelry items including a diamond ring.
Serfass also ordered Barclay to make restitution of $271.50, which is his share of the loss suffered by Sommers, get a D&A evaluation, and to render a total of 100 hours of community service.
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.