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Wife of 'ringleader' sentenced to Carbon County prison term

Published November 28. 2012 05:02PM

The wife of the alleged ringleader of a burglary and drug ring that operated in a multiple-county area, was sentenced to a county prison term on Tuesday in Carbon County court for her part in the operation.

Janet Munoz, 43, of Breinigsville, and formerly of Nesquehoning, was sentenced by Judge Steven R. Serfass to serve a total of 12 to one day less 24 months in the county prison on five counts of receiving stolen property. The prison term will be followed by 36 months of probation.

She was among 12 charged in connection with a burglary/drug ring that was led by her husband, Frank Munoz, 51, that operated in Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. At the time of the arrest of the 12, the state Attorney General's office called it "Operation Golden Dope."

The ring would burglarize homes in the counties mentioned, sell the items at pawn shops, and then use that money to purchase illegal drugs. The drugs were then resold for profit in Carbon and Lehigh counties.

Janet Munoz worked for a doctor's office and she supplied the names of patients who she knew were going away or not going to be at home for periods of times. Those names were given to her husband, who then directed the others in the ring in organizing and burglarizing the homes.

Frank Munoz was sentenced on Monday for his part in the ring to serve 42 to 84 months in a state prison. At his sentencing he admitted being the ringleader for the many burglaries, but denied being the ringleader of the drug operation, saying he was addicted to drugs and participated to feed his habit.

Janet Munoz told Serfass, "I take full responsibility for my actions." She said when she was out on bail this past summer she participated in community programs.

However, one of the victims of the illegal entries, Pauline Dotter, told Serfass that many of the items taken can never be replaced because of their sentimental value and family connection.

Munoz faces a major restitution bill.

In addition to the jail term, Serfass ordered her to make total resitutution of $61,510.80, which is her proportionate share of the total money owed the various victims. She must also get a mental health evaluation, have no contact with the victims or her co-defendants, and render 150 hours of community service.

She was given credit for 85 days spent in jail on the charges. She must also pay additional court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on parole and probation.

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