Judge gives state time for addicted teen
A Carbon County teen who admitted stealing to support a heroin habit, was sentenced to a state prison term on Thursday after the presiding judge determined the defendant needed help for his addiction problem and the state system offers the best programs for that help.
Zachary John Bartenope, 19, of Palmerton, appeared before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to plead guilty to two counts of theft and one of retail theft. One theft count and the retail theft charge are felonies.
Bartenope was charged for two incidents on Aug. 28 in Palmerton when he stole a 60-inch television from a residence along Lehigh Avenue and for taking a mountain bike from a residence along Mauch Chunk Road. The retail theft occurred at the Rite Aid Pharmacy along Delaware Avenue on Oct. 19 where he took a touch screen tablet.
Bartenope, who is an inmate in the county prison on the charges, said he has been struggling with drug addiction for several years. His attorney, Adam R. Weaver of the public defender’s office, asked for a county sentence or a time-served sentence.
Nanovic, however, said Bartenope’s addiction problem is a serious one.
Nanovic said, “Basically you’re a young person caught up in drugs which is ruining your life.” He added, “I believe drugs are dominating your life.”
He continued, “I don’t take lightly sending a young person to a state prison, but I think the best opportunity for you is in the state system.”
Nanovic sentenced him on the felony theft count to serve 9 to 24 months in a state correctional institution. On the other two counts he was sentenced to serve six to 24 months, concurrent with the first count. The prison terms will be followed by one year of probation.
He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample, make restitution of $2,119.60 for the television and pay court costs of about $1,000.
He was given credit for a total of 25 days spent in prison on the charges.