Drugs common denominator in numerous guilty pleas
Numerous defendants entered guilty pleas before Judge Joseph J. Matika in Carbon County Court Tuesday, with the vast majority of the cases having one common factor illegal drug use and drug addiction.
Defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Joshua L. Gundry, 25, of Weatherly, pleaded guilty in three pending cases. He pleaded to two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of theft from a vehicle. He was charged with incidents in Weatherly that occurred on October 2013.
Gundry admitted to a heroin addiction and said he stole to supply his habit.
On the first receiving count he was sentenced to serve 30 days to one year in jail with credit for 99 days and parole; on the second receiving count he was sentenced to serve 21 days to 11 1/2 months in jail with credit for 21 days and paroled. On the theft charge he was placed on probation for a year consecutive to the other counts.
He was also ordered to make total restitution of $509, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance for D&A use, and render a total of 150 hours of community service.
Troy S. Rehrig, 27, of Palmerton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to two counts each of retail theft and driving while under suspension.
Both cases stem from incidents at the Wal-Mart store in Mahoning Township. He was arrested for thefts at the store on Oct. 19 and Nov. 1, 2013. He was stopped in his vehicle after fleeing the store with merchandise and both times it was learned he was driving with a suspended license.
Rehrig admitted to a heroin addiction problem.
He was placed on probation for a year on each count running consecutively and ordered to get a D&A evaluation; make restitution of $299; he is not allowed on the Wal-Mart property for the two years; and render a total of 100 hours of community service. On the suspension counts he was fined a total of $400.
He is currently serving a probation violation sentence in Northampton County prison. Matika ruled his sentence would run consecutive to that term.
Katlin Nicole Fronheiser, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property.
She was arrested by Jim Thorpe police for removing a piggy bank from the home of Dennis McLean, W. Front Street, on Aug. 19, 2013. The bank contained $400 in cash.
Fronheiser said she stole the money to buy heroin to feed her habit.
Matika sentenced her to serve 30 days to one year in jail, make restitution of $400 to the victim, and render 50 hours of community service. She was given credit for 138 days spent in jail to date on the charge and was paroled.
John Joseph Stevens, 40, of Lansford, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count each of terroristic threats and persistent disorderly conduct.
Both incidents occurred at his residence at 247 E. Ridge St. The conduct charge stems from an incident on July 5, 2013. The threats incident occurred on Oct. 4, 2013, in which he had to be physically subdued by officers Christopher Andrus and Jeffrey Ohl, who he also threatened.
Stevens said he has had a long battle with mental health issues but is currently on medication and regularly seeing a doctor for his problems.
Matika placed him on probation for a year on both counts, concurrent, and ordered him to get both D&A and mental health evaluations, and render 50 hours of community service.
It was also noted Stevens has forfeited all firearms police found in the home.
Max Gasker, 36, of Nesquehoning, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count each of theft by deception and criminal trespass.
The theft count stems from an incident on May 21, 2013, at the Dogg House Pub in Nesquehoning, where he passed phony $20 bills for a total of $60. The trespass case occurred on Aug. 17, 2013, at 221 W. Columbus Ave., the home of his father, Harry Gasker. He was accused of taking a Spanish type military rifle from the home.
Gasker also admitted to a heroin addiction problem.
On the trespass count Matika sentenced him to serve 30 days to one year in jail with credit for 38 days and paroled. On the theft count he was placed on probation for a year concurrent to the first count.
He was also ordered to supply a DNA sample, render 50 hours of community service, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
Eric Scott Baker, 21, of Weatherly, pleaded to a summary count of no rear lights. He was arrested on Dec. 27, 2013, along Broad Street in Beaver Meadows. A driving under the influence charge was dropped.
Matika imposed a fine of $25 and costs.
Shaquille Lance Zachary, 21, of Philadelphia, pleaded to one count of failure to disperse.
He was arrested, along with several others, following an incident in Hickory Run State Park at a forestry camp for juvenile delinquents on Dec. 30, 2013. State police at Fern Ridge responded to the camp and learned that a group entered the office area of the camp and began assaulting individuals. In Zachary's case he was charged with assaulting Robert Cook. A simple assault count was dropped in a plea bargain.
Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered him to render 50 hours of community service.
It was noted that Zachary is currently in the Philadelphia jail serving a sentence for a probation violation.
Richard John Padora, 29, of Nesquehoning, pleaded in two pending cases.
He pleaded to one count of delivery of a controlled substance for an incident on July 22, 2013, along Railroad Street in Nesquehoning. Agents of the state Attorney General's office arrested Padora following a controlled buy of heroin from him by an undercover agent.
He pleaded to one count of criminal conspiracy-burglary for an incident on May 29, 2013, at 133 W. Columbus Ave., Nesquehoning, the home of Lynn Pavlik. Taken was jewelry and electronic items. There is a co-defendant in the case.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation department to prepare a presentence investigation report.
Jesse Michael Becker, 27, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance.
He was arrested on Aug. 28, 2013, at the county prison where he was found to have two packets of suboxone on him when search by correction officers before being incarcerated on other charges.
Becker said he had a drug addiction problem but entered a rehab program and is currently in a program and receiving treatment.
Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered him to render 50 hours of community service. The term is concurrent with a probation term Becker is serving on other charges.
Anthony William Hill, 25, of Coaldale, pleaded in two pending cases.
He pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and delivery of a controlled substance.
He was arrested on the paraphernalia charge on Aug. 28, 2013, at 135-141 W. Patterson St., Lansford, by agents of the AG office. He was charged in connection with the operation of a methamphetamine lab. That charge was dropped in a plea bargain.
The delivery charge stems from an incident at 173 W. Ridge St., Lansford, Apt. 3, in which AG agents executed a search warrant and found meth in the apartment.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI. Also, Hill is going to apply for placement in the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP).
Jonathan Joseph Mallison, 32, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count each of theft and fraudulent use of a registration plate, summary offense.
He was charged by Mahoning Township police for an incident on April 9, 2013. He took the registration plate off the parked car of Jessica Strubinger at the Burger King restaurant lot.
Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered restitution of $22.16. On the summary count he was fined $150.
The term runs concurrent with a state prison term of four and a half to 10 years Mallison is currently serving at Camp Hill imposed in another county.
James Rowlands, 50, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence. He was arrested on May 11, 2013, by Nesquehoning police along Catawissa St. He refused a blood test.
Matika deferred sentencing. Rowlands is currently serving a prison term in Lehigh County for DUI.
Matika said he faces a minimum mandatory one-year prison term on the new charge. Matika also noted that Mallison has a total of eight DUI convictions with another pending in Florida.
Amber Reenock, 29, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of simple assault.
She was arrested by Lansford police for an incident at 44 E. Water St. She was accused of assaulting her mother, Roxanne Reenock.
Matika deferred sentencing.
Junior Rosario, 31, of Allentown, pleaded to a charge of false identification to law enforcement.
He was arrested by Nesquehoning police on Nov. 1, 2013, following a vehicle stop. He gave another person's name to the officer.
He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.
Shannon Mary Kelly, 28, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on March 10, 2012 along Route 903 in Kidder Township by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was .14 BAC.
She was previously placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program for first time offenders, but was revoked for failure to complete conditions.
Matika placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to pay a fine of $300 and render 25 hours of community service.
Lisa A. Reese, 49, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on Oct. 1, 2013, along Bertsch Street by Lansford police. Given a test, the result was .28 BAC.
A first offense, she was placed on probation for six months and ordered to pay a fine $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Thomas Darrow Nodzo, 46, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Sept. 9, 2011, along Route 534 by Kidder Township police after being involved in an accident. Given a test, the result was .10 BAC. He was previously placed in the ARD program but was revoked.
Sentencing was deferred.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.