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Carbon County court

Published September 08. 2018 07:25AM

Two defendants facing prison terms after previously pleading guilty were placed in a special state prison program on Friday in Carbon County court.

Judge Steven R. Serfass placed the two in the state intermediate punishment program for two years.

Placed was James Jason Neff, 35, of Lansford.

He had pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, crystal methamphetamine.

Neff was arrested by Kidder Township police on Feb. 28, 2017, in the parking lot of Split Rock Lodge. Police said that Neff was found with 253 bags of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as $498 in cash.

He also pleaded to a charge of flight to avoid apprehension for an incident on Sept. 20, 2017, filed by Lansford police. Police attempted to arrest him along West Bertsch Street on an outstanding warrant. He fled on foot but was apprehended following a short chase.

He also admitted to retail theft for an incident on June 19, 2017, at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township. He stole items valued at $295.88.

Also placed was Brian A. Wardell, 28, of Lehighton. He had pleaded to one count of identity theft.

He was arrested by Lehighton police for the theft of a debit card of a borough resident. Before the start of the proceeding, Wardell pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia for an incident on Sept. 5, 2016, in Lehighton. He was also ordered to make total restitution of $2,348.44 in the ID theft case.

The state IP program includes about seven months in a state correctional institution followed by a period of time in an intensive inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program followed by a period of time spent in a halfway house.

If either defendant is removed from the program for violating conditions or any other reason, they will be brought back to Carbon for sentencing.

Both were also ordered to pay court costs of about $1,000.

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