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Carbon County court

Published June 14. 2018 01:03PM

A Carbon County woman admitted to access device fraud in two pending criminal cases on Monday in the county court and was placed on a long probation period.

She was one of four defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Lehighton incidents

Sandra Sommers, 30, of Lehighton, admitted illegally using a credit card of a borough woman without her permission. She was charged for incidents on June 4, 2017. Police said a borough woman reported her wallet was stolen from her vehicle while parked at a borough business. It was later used at that business, the Dollar General Store, and at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township. Sommers admitted her part in the theft of the wallet.

Serfass placed her on probation for 36 months on each count, running concurrently, and ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use, render a total of 150 hours of community service and make restitution to the credit card company for $37.40.

Other pleas

Eric John Pauloski, 37, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of theft, as a felony 3, for an incident on Jan. 3 in Lehighton. He admitted stealing a vehicle of a borough resident from the parking lot of the Carbon Mini Mart at South First and Iron streets. He and the vehicle were located two days later.

Pauloski is currently an inmate in the county prison.

Sentencing was deferred so Pauloski can apply for placement in the state’s Intermediate Punishment Program. The program runs for two years, with the defendant serving about seven months in a state prison, followed by months in an intensive drug rehabilitation program and then time in a halfway house.

Jeremy D. Knappenberger, 39, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count each of flight to avoid apprehension and resisting arrest.

He was charged for an incident on June 18, 2017, filed by Jim Thorpe police. Knappenberger was observed walking along Center Avenue by police who knew there was an active warrant for his arrest. When police told him of the warrant he fled on foot but was eventually caught. It took substantial force to take him into custody, police said.

On the resisting charge Serfass sentenced him to time-served (84 days) to one day less 24 months in jail, and on the second count one year probation consecutive to the resisting charge. He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render a total of 150 hours of community service when paroled. He is currently an inmate in the county prison.

Thomas Yau Jr., 27, of Tobyhanna, pleaded in two pending cases to one count each of persistent disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.

Yau was arrested on the conduct charge on April 19 at Mallard Markets by Lehighton police. Police were called to the store for an unwanted person. Yau was in the store and asked to leave but refused and struggled with officers before being escorted out of the store.

The trespass count stems from a May 1 incident at the Rite Aid store along North First Street in Lehighton. Police were called to the store because Yau was in the pharmacy and was previously told not to enter the store.

Serfass placed him on probation for a year on each count, running consecutively, and ordered he get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, stay out of the two stores and render a total of 100 hours of community service.

Yau is currently an inmate in the county prison.

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

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