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Carbon man sent to state prison after pleading in 7 criminal cases

Published July 23. 2018 11:58AM

A Carbon County man was sentenced to a state prison term on Friday after pleading guilty in seven pending criminal cases.

Joseph R. Becker, 35, of Summit Hill, was sentenced by Judge Joseph J. Matika to serve a total of 15 to 48 months in a state correctional institution.

Becker previously pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of flight to avoid apprehension and one count each of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, in five pending criminal cases.

On Friday he entered guilty pleas in two other cases to one count each of possession of a prohibitive offensive weapon and theft.

Matika rejected a request from defense attorney Matthew Mottola, of the public defender’s office, to keep Becker in the county jail, despite a long criminal record.

Mottola said Becker was a victim of an attempted homicide in which he was shot last October. That case is pending and he said the shooter is an alleged member of a gang. He said his client fears in the state system he might be in danger from other gang members.

Becker told the court, “I’m trying to get my life back together after I was shot, but I had these charges pending.”

Matika said Becker’s conduct over the past several years was due to his drug addiction.

“You have had 14 adult arrests and six convictions,” Matika said. He added, “My concern is you’re not going to get the help you need in the county. It’s just not there.”

Matika said the help Becker needs is in the state system.

In addition to the prison term, Matika ordered Becker to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use, pay court costs of about $1,000 pay, fines of $200 and make restitution of $235.

Becker was given credit for a total of 161 days already served.

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