Carbon County court — drug cases
A Palmerton woman pleaded guilty on Thursday in Carbon County court to a drug count and was immediately sentenced to a county prison term. She was one of five defendants in pending drug-related cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
Dora J. Stoeckel, 42, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance — heroin. She was arrested after borough police responded to the 400 block of Lehigh Avenue, for an assistance request. Police said the initial call was for unruly individuals at the residence.
While on scene and conducting an investigation, police found heroin in an upstairs bedroom. Stoeckel admitted the drugs were hers.
Stoeckel admitted to a heroin addiction problem but is trying to address it with counseling. She is currently an inmate in the county prison on a probation violation.
Nanovic sentenced her to serve three to 12 months in prison and ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use.
Action of the probation violation petition is pending.
Jacob William Eckley, 25, of Effort, pleaded to one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, driving under the influence and driving while under suspension — DUI related.
He was arrested following a traffic stop by Franklin Township police on Sept. 15, 2017, along Interchange Road. Found in the vehicle was a large amount of marijuana. The police report indicated that Eckley told officers he had purchased a pound of marijuana for $3,500 sometime before the stop and had smoked some. A test revealed the presence of a controlled substance.
Nanovic deferred sentencing so Eckley can obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation for the DUI charge and also apply for placement in the Intermediate Punishment Program — house arrest.
Wendy Sepulveda, 20, of Hazleton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. In exchange for the plea the district attorney’s office dropped other drug counts including possession with intent to deliver.
She was arrested following a vehicle stop along Route 248 by Palmerton police on June 16, 2016. Sepulveda was a passenger in the vehicle.
Heroin and other drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle. Assistant District Attorney Brian B. Gazo said the driver took responsibility for the drugs in the car.
Nanovic placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use.
Wayne Adam Boger Jr., 25, of Macungie, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. A charge of possession of a controlled substance was dropped in a plea bargain.
He was arrested on Sept. 22, 2017, following a vehicle stop along Delaware Avenue by Palmerton police.
Nanovic placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use.
John T. O’Brien Jr., 54, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a summary offense of disorderly conduct.
He was arrested on March 25, 2017, when Lehighton police responded to the Mahoning Inn along Route 443 for a person “out of control” in one of the rooms. On scene police found O’Brien causing a disturbance by pounding on the walls of a room. While taking him into custody, police found drug paraphernalia in the room.
Nanovic sentenced him to time-served (63 days) to one year in jail and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use.
On the conduct charge he was fined $300 and costs.
Each defendant must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.