Two get prison terms for drug counts; others enter guilty pleas
Two person involved in drug offenses entered guilty pleas Tuesday in Carbon County court and were sentenced to prison terms. They among a total of 12 defendants in pending criminal cases to enter guilty pleas before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Brian Scott McGee, 31, of Lehighton, was sentenced to serve nine to one day less 24 months in the county prison followed by two years of probation after pleading to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin.
He was arrested on Feb. 13 by agents of the state Attorney General's office after he sold heroin to a undercover agent. After the sale was made, agents got a search warrant for his residence and found seven bags of heroin, other drug paraphernalia, and U.S. currency.
McGee told Nanovic that he sold the heroin to support his own drug habit. It was further noted that McGee has drug-related charges pending in Lehigh County.
In addition to the jail term Nanovic ordered McGee to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
He was given credit for 160 days spent in jail to date on the charge.
Jessica Ann Gallagher, 29, of Lehighton, was sentenced to serve six to 12 months in the county prison on a charge of possession of a controlled substance-marijuana.
She was arrested on Oct. 3, 2012, by county drug task force who received information from the county's adult probation office that Gallagher was growing marijuana plants in her home. Gallagher's probation officer visited the home and observed the plants.
She admitted to the offense and claimed she was growing the marijuana for personal use. She has a prior record of drug convictions.
She also pleaded to posssession of drug paraphernalia and was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the first count.
She was also ordered to pay a fine of $750, get a D&A evaluation, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
Other defendants that entered guilty pleas included:
Timothy Patrick Robinson, 28, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count each of simple assault and harassment, as a summary offense.
He was arrested by Palmerton police on Jan. 29 at his residence at 179 1/2 Delaware Avenue for assaulting his mother, Nancy Donnelly. He pushed her down steps and caused other injuries. The police report indicated a knife was also used in the incident. A charge of aggravated assault was dropped in a plea bargain.
Robinson told Nanovic he lost his temper when he returned home and found his mother had used drugs and alcohol. He said it was a ongoing problem and he became frustrated.
His mother has since died from other medical problems.
On the assault count Nanovic sentenced him to time-served (143 days) to two years less a day in jail. He was also ordered to complete a anger management counseling course, get a D&A evaluation, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use. The harassment charge merged with the assault count for sentnecing purposes.
David Anthony Jany, 28, of Northampton, pleaded to one count of retail theft, as a felony three.
He was arrested by state police at Lehighton for an incident on June 4 at the Country Junction store in Towamensing Township. He admitted taking $2,673.84 worth of merchandise from the store.
He is facing a probation violation hearing in Lehigh County.
Nanovic noted his prior record in imposing a state prison term of one to two years. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and supply an DNA sample.
He was given credit for 50 days spent in jail on the charge.
Allen D. Miller, 21, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded in three pending cases.
He pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia for an incident on Nov. 12, 2011, in Mahoning Township where he was found in the parking lot of a local business with drug items.
He pleaded to two counts of theft from a motor vehicle for an incident on Jan. 13 in Lehighotn where he entered parked vehicles and removed items. He pleaded to another theft from a motor vehicle charge for an incident on Feb. 25, 2012, in Palmerton, where he entered a vehicle and removed items.
Miller told Nanovic he had a drug addiction probem and had went to a inpatient rehabilitation program and continues counseling.
Nanovic imposed a total of two years probation on the charges and ordered he get a D&A evaluation, and make total restitution to the various victims of $1,060.37.
Robert Wayne Snyder Jr., 21, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on May 1, 2010, in the area of the Turkey Hill Mart in Jim Thorpe by state police at Lehighton following a traffic stop.
He was previously placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but was revoked.
Nanovic imposed a fine of $500.
Billie Jo Unangst, 29, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of unauthorized use of a automobile. She was arrested by Franklin Township police on Oct. 23, 2009, when she failed to return a rental vehicle to Wentz Auto Body. She rented a 2001 Mercury Sable.
She told Nanovic she left the area because of the illness of a relative and did not return the car until months later.
Nanovic deferred sentencing because of a question concerning restitution owed.
Nicholas Frank Carino, 24, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of loitering or prowling at night and criminal mischief.
He was arrested on Jan. 1, 2011, at the home of Myra E. Volpe, 80 Anderson Drive, Towamensing Township, by state police at Lehighton. He was at the home and caused damages to a window in an apparent attempt to gain entry.
It was noted that Carino had mental health issues that may have caused is conduct on the night of the incident.
He also has criminal conviction in Monroe County and is on probation for three years.
On the two charges Nanovic placed him on probation for a year, running concurrent, and ordered he get a mental health evaluation, get a General Education Diploma (GED), and make restitution of $1,235 to the victim. The probation runs consecutive to the term in Monroe County.
Jennifer Bloyer, 33, of Lake Harmony, pleaded to one count of simple assault by mutual consent. She was arrested by Kidder Township police for an incident on Dec. 28, 2008, with William Fitzgerald the listed victim. Fitzgerald and Bloyer once had a relationship.
She was previously placed in the ARD program but was revoked.
Nanovic placed her on probation for six months and ordered she get a D&A evaluation.
Steven Eric Bollinger, 34, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property.
He was arrested on Dec. 9, 2012, by state police at Lehighton for having in his possession a cellular phone that was stolen from Barbara Lewandowski, at the Country Junction store in Towamensing Township. Bollinger was not involved in the theft.
He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and make restitution of $287.50.
Kevin Tansley, 26, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of flight to avoid apprehension, as a felony. He was arrested on Jan. 11 after he fled his resident along Princeton Avenue when county sheriff deputies came with a warrant for his arrest.
Sentencing was deferred.
Christian Rodriguez, 21, of Hazleton, pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and false reports to law enforcement.
He was arrested on Feb. 10 along SR248 in Franklin Township, by state police at Lehighton.
Troopers made a vehicle stop and smelled marijuana smoke coming from the vehicle. Rodriguez was a passenger in the vehicle and was found to have drug items. When first questioned, he gave a false name.
Rodriguez is currently an inmate in the Columbia County prison on other charges.
Nanovic sentenced him to time served (12 days) to six months in jail and ordered he get a D&A evaluation, and pay a fine of $500. The term runs consecutive to a probation term he is currently serving in Luzerne County.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.