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Carbon County court — drug cases

Published June 04. 2018 01:21PM

Seven defendants, charged with drug-related offenses, entered guilty pleas in Carbon County court on Thursday.

President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II accepted the pleas from the following:

Gets break

Brian Gabriel Canto, 21, of Bowmanstown, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He got a break when the most serious charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, (a felony) was dropped in a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office.

Canto was arrested on July 23, 2016, by park rangers at Beltzville State Park in the area of “A” lot in Franklin Township. Rangers made a vehicle stop and found drugs in the vehicle following a search.

Nanovic placed him on probation on the two paraphernalia charges for a year each, running concurrently, and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment and zero tolerance imposed for drug or alcohol use.

On the small amount of marijuana charge he was fined $500 and costs.

Other pleas

Tara Lee Hunter, 39, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. A charge of obstruction of the administration of law was dropped in a plea bargain.

Hunter was arrested following a traffic stop on March 15 in the 500 block of Alley F. by Palmerton police. Hunter was a rear seat passenger with needles and drugs (methamphetamine) found where she was sitting.

She is currently an inmate in the county prison.

On the first count Nanovic sentenced her to serve three to 18 months in prison, and on the paraphernalia charge one year of probation with the terms running concurrently. She was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use.

The terms run concurrent with a prison sentence she is serving. She is also facing a probation violation proceeding in Lehigh County.

Tye Mertz, 50, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on Nov. 12, 2017, by Lehighton police following a traffic stop along East Street.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve three to 12 months in prison, pay a fine of $500 and get a drug and alcohol evaluation.

The term runs concurrent with a one- to two-month prison term imposed in Lehigh County earlier in May.

James Edward Fredericks, 62, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on Aug. 11, 2017, along Route 902 by Lansford police.

Nanovic imposed a fine of $100.

Samuel Padilla, 24, of Whitehall, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on July 8, 2017, in the area of “A” lot at Beltzville State Park by park rangers following a vehicle stop.

Nanovic placed him on probation for six months, imposed a fine of $500 and zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use.

Padilla is currently an inmate in the Lehigh County prison on other charges.

Michael Balagoch Jr., 38, an inmate at the state correction institution at Waymart, Wayne County, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested on Feb. 21 by Lehighton police following a vehicle stop at Ochre and North Second streets.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve six to 12 months in prison and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance imposed on drug or alcohol use.

The term runs concurrent with a sentence he is serving for driving under the influence.

Charles W. Hriczko, 32, of Nazareth, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on March 8 by Lehighton police following a traffic stop along Route 443. He also pleaded to two summary motor vehicle code violations — expired inspection sticker and financial responsibility (no insurance).

Nanovic placed him on probation for a year on the drug charge and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use.

On the two summaries he was fined a total of $325 and costs.

Each defendant 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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