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Carbon County court

Published August 14. 2019 12:31PM

A Carbon County woman entered guilty pleas in the county court on Monday morning in two pending criminal cases.

She was one of four defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.

Gun purchase

Michelle Regina Lucas, 51, of Lansford, pleaded to one count each of statement under penalty and driving under the influence in separate incidents.

She was charged by Mahoning Township police with attempting to purchase a gun at the Walmart store and not answering one of the questions on the application concerning prior criminal activity. She answered “no” to the question concerning any arrest in which she could go to jail. She had the DUI count pending, which meant she should have answered “yes.” That prohibits her from buying a gun. The arrest occurred on June 2, 2018.

The DUI occurred on March 21, 2017, in Lansford. Police responded to a crash report at West Patterson and Coal streets. Lucas submitted to a blood test, which revealed the presence of a controlled substance.

Lucas faces a mandatory jail term on the DUI charge.

Nanovic deferred sentencing so Lucas can obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation and also apply for placement in the county’s Intermediate Punishment Program - house arrest.

Other pleas

Robert Wayne Hess, 56, of Kunkletown, pleaded to one count each of DUI and driving under suspension - DUI related.

He was arrested on Jan. 18, 2018, by state police at Lehighton along Forest Inn Road in Lower Towamensing Township after being involved in a crash. He refused a test.

Nanovic noted Hess is facing a mandatory one to two years in prison on the DUI count and 90 days on the suspension charge.

Nanovic deferred sentencing so Hess can apply for placement in the state’s Intermediate Punishment program. The program runs for two years and includes about seven months in a state correctional institution followed by a period of time in an intensive inpatient drug and alcohol program in the state system and finally a period of time in a halfway house.

Hess is currently an inmate in the Lehigh County prison on another DUI charge. Lehigh County also approved his application for the IP. He will now be transferred to a state correctional institution to be evaluated for the program. Sentencing will occur after the evaluation is completed.

Kyle Nyheem Ross, 23, of Martins Creek, Northampton County, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on May 8, 2017, following a vehicle stop by Palmerton police along Lehigh Avenue. He was a passenger in the vehicle and found with marijuana. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dropped in a plea bargain.

Nanovic imposed a fine of $250 and costs.

Naim Malik Wright, 27, of Harrisburg, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested following a traffic stop on May 11 at the intersection of routes 93 and 209 by Nesquehoning police. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dropped in a plea bargain. Nanovic imposed a fine of $250 and costs.

Each defendant must also pay court costs of about $1,000.

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