Two charged in drug cases receive jail terms
Two Lehigh County residents, arrested in separate drug-related offenses, entered guilty pleas on Thursday afternoon in Carbon County court and were immediately sentenced to prison terms. The two were among five defendants in pending cases to enter pleas before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Robert Lee Wells, 19, and Wakeelah Jasmine Muslim, 25, both of Allentown, entered pleas to drug counts and received jail terms. However, in each case the two had already spent more than their minimum time in jail on the charges and were paroled.
Wells pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office after making a controlled buy to a confidential informant (CI), on Oct. 13, 2011, in Lehighton.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve six to 18 months in prison, followed by two years probation. Wells has been in jail for the past 218 days and was given credit for that time meaning he was immediately paroled.
Nanovic also ordered Wells to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and must find fulltime employment.
Muslim pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-cocaine. She was arrested on June 29, 2011, by state police at Lehighton. Troopers went to a residence at 86 Mountain View Drive in Penn Forest Township to serve a warrant for a wanted person.
Muslim was in the home at the time. During the search troopers found crack cocaine in the residence. Muslim admitted the drugs were hers.
Nanovic sentenced her to serve six to one day less 24 months in prison followed by one year probation. She was given credit for spending 323 days in jail to date on the charge and was paroled.
She was ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, get a General Education Diploma (GED), and cooperate with police in the prosecution of a pending case.
Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Richard French, 30, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of possession of marijuana. He was arrested on June 2, 2010, in the 400 block of S. Ninth St., Lehighton. Police responded to an accident in the area. French was a passenger in the vehicle involved in the crash but left the scene. Police later found him and while taking him into custody marijuana was found.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve 30 days in jail. He was given credit for 66 days spent in jail on the charge and was paroled.
French was previously placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders, but was revoked from it for failure to complete all the conditions.
Zachary Hoffman, 34, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
He was arrested following an incident on July 10, 2011, at 800 Grist Mill Road in Mahoning Township.
Township police responded to the scene of a report of a burglary in progress and the suspect still in the home.
On scene police found Hoffman inside the property. Police said extensive damages were done to two homes at the site. Hoffman resisted police when they attempted to take him into custody.
The property owner, David Rehrig, told Nanovic that the homes were used for summer retreats.
Nanovic accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.
Thomas D. Dobbie Jr., 38, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of simple assault, with possession of a deadly weapon enhancement included.
Dobbie was arrested for an incident on July 26, 2011, near his home. Borough police said Dobbie confronted Douglas J. Smela as he was riding by the suspects home.
Dobbie pointed a shotgun at Smela and accused him of entering his property. Smela told police he was never on Dobbie's property and didn't know who he was when confronted.
Dobbie told Nanovic he was highly intoxicated at the time of the incident and expressed remorse for what he did.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve four to 18 months in prison. Dobbie was given credit for 63 days spent in a inpatient rehabilitation program and a day spent in jail against the prison term. He will serve the remaining time on consecutive weekends beginning Friday, May 18, at noon.
He was also ordered to get both a D&A and mental health evaluations, continue counseling, and continue attending AA meetings.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.