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Carbon County court

Published December 12. 2019 08:26AM

A man was sentenced to a state prison term on Monday in Carbon County court after pleading guilty to two drug charges.

He was one of 10 defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Joseph J. Matika.

Drug possession

Edward B. Zielinski, 50, no address but currently an inmate in the county prison, pleaded to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. He also pleaded to one count of driving under suspension, DUI related.

He was arrested on the first count on June 30 by Nequehoning police at Hunter and Catawissa streets. That arrest also included the suspension charge. The second arrest occurred on Oct. 4 by Palmerton police in the area of Hillside Avenue.

Zielinski told Matika he is in the county prison on the charges and is awaiting a probation violation proceeding which will occur at a later date.

Matika sentenced him to serve 12 to 36 months in a state correctional institution and ordered he render 100 hours of community service when paroled and get and drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment. On the suspension charge he was sentenced to serve 45 to 90 days in prison, must serve the full 90, and pay a fine of $1,000. The term runs concurrent with the drug charges.

He was given credit for a total of 90 days already served.

Other pleas

Thomas James Hosier, 28, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of simple assault. In exchange for the plea the DA dropped a aggravated assault count.

Hosier was arrested on Sept. 14 by state police at Lehighton following an incident at a residence along Ruben Circle, Lower Towamensing Township, involving his stepfather as the victim. The victim agreed to the plea deal, it was noted.

Matika sentenced him to serve two to 18 months in prison, render 75 hours of community service when paroled, get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and supply a DNA sample.

Hosier has been an inmate in the county prison since his arrest and was given credit for 60 days already served. Although he served his minimum, he won’t be released as he has a pending DUI charge in which he did not post bail. He is scheduled to plead to that charge on Thursday.

Matthew James Lukanowski, 37, of Kunkletown, pleaded to one count of false identification to law enforcement.

He was arrested on Sept. 21 by state police at Lehighton following a traffic stop along Koch Road in Towamensing Township. He was a passenger in the vehicle and there was a warrant for his arrest. At the stop he gave his brother’s name to troopers.

Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered he render 50 hours of community service. The term runs concurrent with a probation period he is serving in Northampton County.

Vanardi Legrand Jr., 41, of Mahanoy City, pleaded to one count of defiant trespass. He was arrested on Nov. 15, 2018, by state police at Fern Ridge. Troopers responded to a residence along Susquehanna Drive in Penn Forest Township for an unwanted person. Legrand was found on the property and refused to leave after being told to do so by the property owner.

Matika placed him on probation for six months and ordered he make restitution of $100 and have no contact with the homeowner.

Legrand is currently an inmate in the state correctional institution at Mercer, Mercer County, serving a six- to 23-month prison term. Matika ruled his sentence run concurrent with the state term.

Heather Nicole Kokinda, 31, of Freeland, pleaded to one count of theft. She was arrested on Feb. 1, 2015, by Weatherly police for taking video games and jewelry from a residence along North Street, where she was staying at the time. She was previously placed in the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition probation program but was revoked from it for being arrest on new criminal charges.

She is currently an inmate in the county prison.

Matika placed her on probation for a year, consecutive to other sentences she is serving in Carbon and Luzerne counties, and ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation, render 50 hours of community service, supply a DNA sample and make total restitution of $273.

Taylor Anna Martin, 24, of White Haven, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance. She was arrested on Oct. 7 by state police at Fern Ridge following a traffic stop along Route 940 in Kidder Township. Methamphetamine was found.

Matika placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to render 50 hours of community service and get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations.

She is currently an inmate in the county prison facing a probation violation proceeding.

Luis Daniel Rivera Jr., 21, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of criminal conspiracy, retail theft. He was arrested on May 30, 2018, by Mahoning Township police at the Walmart store. He was previously placed in the ARD program but revoked for violating conditions.

Matika placed him on probation for six months and ordered him to render 25 hours of community service, get a drug and alcohol evaluation, supply a DNA sample, make restitution of $95.22, which is his half-share of the total due, and to stay out of the store.

Joseph Edward Clark-Cooper, 34, of Tamaqua, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on Jan. 10, 2018, by state police at Hazleton after troopers checked on a disabled vehicle along Route 93 in Packer Township.

He was placed on probation for six months, concurrent to a six to 24 month, less a day, prison term he is now serving in Schuylkill County.

Raymond C. Mayers Jr., 32, of Danielsville, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense. He was arrested on July 18 by Palmerton police for an incident along Lehigh Avenue involving a female victim. A simple assault charge was dropped in a plea deal.

Matika imposed a fine of $200 and costs.

James Joseph Mann, 20, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on March 22 by park rangers at Beltzville State Park on state game lands near Pohopoco Drive.

Matika imposed a fine of $150 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.

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