Carbon man admits to drug dealing; other pleas entered
A Carbon County man entered a guilty plea in the county court to drug dealing. He was one of several defendants who were scheduled to go on trial this week.
Earl A. Eldridge, 32, of Jim Thorpe pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a felony.
Borough police had charged Eldridge with selling heroin to a confidential informant (CI). He was charged with counts of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, and two misdemeanor counts of possession. The misdemeanor counts were dropped in a plea bargain.
Police said on Oct. 7, 2011, Eldridge sold three packets of heroin to the CI for $60. On Oct. 14, 2011, he sold three more packs of the drug to the CI for another $60.
Judge Steven R. Serfass accepted the plea but deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Steven Allen Hartranft, 28, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of driving under the influence (DUI), escape, and driving while under suspension. He was arrested on April 23, 2010, along the Stanley Hoffman Blvd., in Lehighton, at a DUI checkpoint. He fled the checkpoint but was later stopped. Given a test, the result was .19BAC.
Serfass placed him on probation for six months on the DUI count, a first offense, and ordered he pay a fine of $300, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render 75 hours of community service.
On the escape count he was placed on probation for 18 months, consecutive to the DUI charge, and on the suspension count fined $200.
Felicity Valentina Inniss, 21, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded to one count of theft, as a felony. She was arrested following a speeding stop along Interstate 80 in Kidder Township. At the stop state police found a large amount of American Express gift cards that were previously reported stolen.
Serfass placed her on probation for six months and ordered she make restitution of $1,476.34, and supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee.
Amanda Moyer, 27, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of disorderly conduct, as a summary offense. She was charged for an incident Jan. 24 at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township.
She was fined $150 and ordered to make restitution of $61.36 to Walmart. A retail theft count was dropped in a plea agreement.
John Ockenhouse, 23, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. Borough police charged him in connection with an incident on Feb. 28.
Ockenhouse allegedly removed an Xbox 360 gaming console from a residence in the 300 block of S. First St. He later sold the console to Gamestop, located in the Carbon Plaza Mall, for $80, police said.
Serfass sentenced him to time served (74 days) to one day less 24 months in prison and ordered he make restitution of $250, and render 100 hours of community service. A theft count was dropped in the plea agreement.
Donna Piliero, 49, of Blakeslee, pleaded guilty to one count of DUI, a first offense, before Judge Joseph J. Matika. She was arrested on along SR1003 in Kidder Township after being stopped for speeding. Given a test, the result was .11BAC.
She 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.
James Burns, 29, of Freeland, was sentenced time served (five days) in jail on a theft count which he previously entered a guilty plea. He will spend 30 days in the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring followed by 23 months in the program without a monitor. He was also ordered to make total restitution of $5,590.09.
Burns was arrested by Kidder Township police for an incident at the White Haven Veterinary Hospital, White Haven, where he admitted taking $100 in cash and various pet products and medicines valued at $10,103.46. Some of the items were recovered.
He will begin the IPP on July 23 in Luzerne County.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay additional court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.