Lehigh man pleads to drug counts; sentenced to prison
A Lehigh County man pleaded guilty to drug and other criminal counts on Tuesday in Carbon County court and was immediately sentenced to a prison term.
He was one of nine defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb.
Luis Angel Vargas, 40, of Allentown, entered guilty pleas to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver-cocaine, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one of driving under the influence (DUI).
Vargas was arrested on the possession with intent on Jan. 28 in Lehighton when he sold cocaine to a confidential informant for the Attorney General's office.
The possession counts and DUI charge stems from a Aug. 29, 2011, incident along Second St., in Lehighton, when state police made a vehicle stop. Vargas was the driving and a test revealed he was under the influence of a controlled substance.
Found in his vehicle was 10 small baggies of illegal substances.
In a plea bargain with the district attorney's office, Webb sentenced Vargas to serve six to 18 months in the county prison on the possession with intent count; one to 12 months in prison on the possession counts; and 72 hours to six months in jail on the DUI charge. The terms run concurrently.
He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 on the DUI count and had his license suspended for a year, and ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
On a summary count of driving under suspension he was fined $200 and costs.
Vargas, who is a inmate in the county jail on the possession with intent count, was given credit for 33 days spent in jail on the charges.
Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Robert Peter Clarkson, 23, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and institutional vandalism and faces a big restitution bill.
He was arrested on Sept. 28, 2011, by state police for an incident at the Little League field in Lower Towamensing Township. He caused damages to the field and also assaulted Chad Mack, who was with him at the time. A charge of aggravated assault was dropped in a plea bargain.
Webb was told that Clarkson has mental health issues and is on medication. He has also undergone counseling and inpatient treatment at several facilities. He is still receiving counseling.
Webb sentenced him to time served (34 days) to one day less 24 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay total restitution of $10,230.91. The figure includes medical expenses incurred by Mack and damages done to the Little League field.
Webb also ordered Clarkson to continue his counseling and imposed zero tolerance on D&A use.
Douglas J. Ahner II, 30, of Lehighton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count of theft for an incident on Aug. 7, 2011, in Lehighton. He admitted his part in a theft at the Time Will Tell pawn shop. He also pleaded to one count of criminal trespass, for a incident at 223 1/2 N. First St., Lehighton, where the apartment of Wendy Domforth and Walter Kunsman was entered.
On the theft charge Webb sentenced him to time served (204 days) to one day less 24 months in prison. On the trespass count he was sentenced to serve 11 to 23 months in jail, concurrent with the theft charge. He was paroled and ordered to make total restitution of $5,596.75.
Nikola Ann Fleischmann, 44, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
She was arrested on May 28, 2011, at her residence by state police at Fern Ridge. Troopers responded to the area for a report of two dogs running loose and attacking other dogs in the area and threatening people. Troopers also said Fleischmann's four-year-old child was found walking alone along the road near the home.
When troopers entered the home they found Fleischmann asleep. They attempted to wake her up but had a hard time. When she did wake up she was found to be intoxicated.
Webb noted she has several prior DUI convictions. She also has a probation revocation proceeding pending in Northampton County.
Webb sentenced her to serve nine to one day less 24 months in prison. He also ordered her to get a D&A evaluation and imposed zero tolerance on D&A use.
She was given credit for 276 days spent in prison to date on the charges.
Sara Elizabeth Terry, 25, of Baltimore, Md., pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct. She was arrested on Nov. 7, 2009, outside Ruby's Saloon along Bridge St., in Lehighton, where she was causing a disturbance.
Webb imposed a fine of $250 and costs.
Peter W. Micholik, 48, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of DUI, a first offense. He was arrested on May 29, 2011, along SR443 in Mahoning Township, by state police. Given a test, the result was .15BAC.
Webb placed him on probation for six months and ordered he pay a fine of $300 and get a D&A evaluation.
William Oquendo-Gonzalez, 57, of Bethlehem, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on June 29, 2011, along SR248 in Bowmanstown. He refused to submit to a test and will lose his license for a year.
Webb sentenced him to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, get a D&A evaluation, and another year suspension.
He will begin the jail term on March 9 at 9 a.m.
Charles D. Shafer, 24, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of theft. He was arrested on July 28, 2011, by Lehighton police for taking the property of Michele Mitchern including household items she had placed outside her residence on Bankway as she was in the process of moving.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered he make restitution of $450 to the victim.
Rebekah Joy Shubrick, 21, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty to three counts of DUI in three separate cases. She was arrested on Sept. 5, 2011, along SR248 in Lower Towamensing Township; on July 23, 2011, along Delaware Avenue in Palmerton; and on Aug. 20, 2011, along Forest Inn Road in Lower Towamensing Township.
In each case she was given a test, all revealing the presence of a controlled substance.
Since her arrest she went into a inpatient rehabilitation program for 23 days and continues outpatient counseling.
Webb sentenced her to serve a total of nine days to 18 months in prison. She was ordered to pay total fines of $3,000 and had her license suspended for three years. Webb also imposed zero tolerance on D&A use.
She was given credit for the 23 days in rehab and was immediately paroled.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.