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Carbon County court – guilty pleas

Published February 05. 2019 12:49PM

A Lansford man pleaded guilty in Carbon County court to two counts of resisting arrest.

He was one of seven defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass

Lansford incidents

Barry Veron Jr., 18, was arrested on Oct. 27, 2018, and Nov. 23, 2018, both in Lansford. In the first incident police responded to the 500 block of East Front Street to serve a warrant on Veron. He struggled with police, who had to use substantial force to take him into custody. In exchange for the plea, charges of aggravated and simple assault were dropped.

In the second incident, police responded to the 500 block of East Patterson Street for an assault report. Veron was accused of assaulting his father. A charge of simple assault was dropped in a plea agreement.

Veron admitted to having mental health issues at the time of the incidents.

On the first count Serfass sentenced him to time-served (70 days) to 23 months in prison; and on the second count 24 months probation with the terms running consecutively. He was also ordered to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment.

Other pleas

Jerry I. Olivencia, 27, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of simple assault. He was arrested on April 17, 2017, in the 300 block of Lansford Court by Summit Hill police. Police responded to the area for a report of a man assaulting a 5-year-old boy with a clothes hangar.

Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation to prepare a presentence investigation report. Serfass said he was concerned about the facts of the case and wanted more information about the defendant and also from others involved in the case.

Trista Biechy, 23, of Lansford, pleaded to two counts of retail thefts, both occurring the same day at the same location.

She was arrested at the Dollar General Store along North First Street by Lehighton police for the two incidents. Biechy entered the store on two occasions and stole items.

Serfass placed her on probation for a year on each count, with the terms running concurrently, and ordered her to make total restitution of $26.40 and render a total of 50 hours of community service.

Steven John Berger, 30, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of defiant trespass. He was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident in the 200 block of Carson Street. Police responded to the area for a report of a person wandering around yards and homes. Berger was found under the influence of a controlled substance, the police report indicated.

Serfass sentenced him to time-served (13 days) to one year and ordered he get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and render 50 hours of community service.

John Copes, 36, of Philadelphia, pleaded to one count of theft by deception. He was charged by state police at the Pocono barracks with attempting to pass a phony $100 bill at a business at the Hickory Run rest stop on April 23, 2017.

Copes is currently serving a 21- to 42-month state prison term.

Serfass sentenced him to serve three to 24 months in a state prison, concurrent with the term he is now serving.

DUI cases

Two defendants entered pleas to driving under the influence charges.

Louis Francis Holler, 52, of Allentown, was arrested on Nov. 21, 2014, by state police at Lehighton. A test revealed a 0.08 BAC. He was previously placed in the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program but revoked from it for violating conditions.

Serfass deferred sentencing so Holler can obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Carl Winston Christopher St. Hill, 36, of Albrightsville, was arrested on Sept. 6, 2015, by state police at Fern Ridge. A test revealed a 0.25 BAC. He was previously placed in the ARD probation program but revoked for violating conditions.

Sentencing was deferred so St. Hill can obtain a comprehensive drug and alcohol evaluation.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on parole or probation.

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