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Carbon County court

Published February 10. 2018 11:02AM

Eleven defendants entered guilty pleas in pending criminal cases before Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Kari Ann McCoy, 39, of Palmerton, pleaded to two counts of theft and five counts of access device fraud and two counts of identity theft.

She was charged by Weatherly police for thefts involving the same family in the borough, where she had been staying. The thefts occurred between April to June 2016, and involved the taking of various types of jewelry and a debit card belonging to the victims.

McCoy is currently an inmate in the county prison.

Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Other pleas

Shawn D. Wardell, 26, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of resisting arrest and institutional vandalism.

He was arrested on Dec. 24, 2017, by Lehighton police for incident at the Blue Mountain Health Systems Lehighton Campus. Police responded to the emergency room for an disturbance. Wardell was located in a men’s room trying to flee by lifting himself up into the ceiling area. Police pulled him down and he struggled with officers when they took him into custody.

On the resisting charge he was sentenced to time-served (41 days) to one day less 24 months, and on the vandalism charge two years probation, consecutive to the resisting count.

He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use and render a total of 200 hours of community service.

Tracey Ann Hontz, 47, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of theft.

She was charged with removing money from the checking account of a Palmerton resident.

Before the plea, Serfass conducted a probation revocation hearing filed by the adult probation office. He found her in violation.

Hontz, an inmate in the county prison, was sentenced to serve eight months back time in the prison on the probation violation.

On the theft charge, she was placed on probation for 24 months, consecutive to the probation violation and ordered to make restitution of $2,570.59, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use and render 100 hours of community service.

She was given credit for 204 days spent in prison to date.

Brian A. Wardell, 28, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of identity theft.

He was arrested by Lehighton police for the theft of a debit card of a borough resident.

Sentencing was deferred so Wardell can apply for placement in the state’s Intermediate Punishment program. Currently an inmate in the county prison, he will be transferred to a state prison for evaluation for the state IP. If he is accepted but doesn’t complete it, then he will be brought back to Carbon for resentencing.

Michael D. Smith, 26, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of loitering or prowling at night.

He was arrested on Oct. 26, 2017, by Palmerton police for entering a property along Mauch Chunk Road without permission. He was found sleeping in the structure. Charges of burglary and criminal trespass were dropped.

Serfass placed him on probation for a year and ordered he get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service.

Alexander Kevin Dreher, 38, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of flight to avoid apprehension.

He was arrested on Oct. 21, 2017, by Lehighton police in the 200 block of North East Alley after a vehicle stop. He is currently an inmate in the county prison.

Serfass sentenced him to serve two to 18 months in prison, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use and render 75 hours of community service. The time is concurrent with a prison term he is serving on a DUI charge.

On a summary offense he was fined $300 and costs.

Jared Behler, 18, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct.

He was arrested on Oct. 15, 2017, by Palmerton police in the 400 block of Lehigh Avenue.

He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to make restitution of $602.32, his half share as there is a co-defendant in the case, get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service.

Jennifer Carrigan, 43, of Slatington, pleaded to one count each of false reports to law enforcement and false incrimination of another.

She was charged for an incident on Aug. 26, 2017, filed by Palmerton police. She reported her car stolen by an individual but later admitted he did not steal the vehicle.

She was placed on probation for a year, consecutive to a probation term she is currently serving, and was ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service.

Kyle Reed Morales, 22, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of retail theft.

He was arrested on Jan. 6, 2016, by Nesquehoning for stealing items for Redner’s Warehouse Market.

He was placed on probation for nine months and ordered to make restitution of $16.59 and render 50 hours of community service.

Anthony M. Quinn, 32, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property.

He was arrested on Jan. 26, 2016, by Jim Thorpe police for taking items from the Jim Thorpe Market.

He was placed on probation for nine months and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.

Cara Marie Simmons, 39, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of theft.

She was charged by Lehighton police for stealing money from the Dunkin Donut shop while an employee at the business.

Serfass sentenced her to time-served (four days) to one day less 24 months and ordered to pay restitution of $665.28 and to render 100 hours of community service.

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

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