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Fourth defendant in drive-by shooting enters guilty plea

Published February 27. 2013 05:04PM

The fourth and final defendant in a drive-by shooting incident that occurred in February 2011, entered a guilty plea in Carbon County court on Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to a county prison term.

Joshua Zackery Zink, 23, of Columbia, Lancaster County, pleaded to three counts of criminal conspiracy in connect with the incident. Unlike his three co-defendants, Zink was sentenced to a county prison term.

The other three defendants, Andrew L. Ortiz, 24, of Hazleton, James Delbo, 34, of Ashland, and Christopher Ray Harris, 24, of McAdoo, pleaded to counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, recklessly endangering another person, criminal conspiracy to endanger another person, and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure. They were all sentenced to serve four to eight years in a state prison as part of a plea bargain with the district attorney's office.

Zink was given a break because of his cooperation in the investigation by Weatherly police. Police said his help led to the arrest of the others. His help also led to police determining who did what on the morning of Feb. 13, 2011, along Yeakle St.

Zink has been in jail since his arrest a short time after the incident.

Serfass sentenced him to serve a total of one day less 12 months to one day less 24 months. He was given credit for 721 days spent in jail on the charges. Reportedly, he has about 10 more days to serve out his maximum term and be released.

He must also make restitution of one-fourth of $6,235.35.

Borough police were called to the area about 2:55 a.m. to a report of shots fired. The investigation revealed that three houses, a garage, a vehicle, and a utility pole, were hit with rounds fired from a 9mm and a .22-caliber firearms. The three houses struck were at 319, 327, and 335 Yeakle St. The vehicle hit was parked in front of 319 Yeakle.

Police said the residents of 319 Yeakle St. were Tara and Steven Barnic, who said they were asleep at the time along with their children, two sons, ages 15 and two, and a one-year-old daughter.

Through the course of the investigation police learned that Delbo had made threats on the lives of Matt Sipler and Alyssa A. Adams. He had resided with them along Yeakle St., but was asked to leave when he failed to pay rent. Police said his threats included that he would "get even" with them for evicting him from the residence.

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