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Man who stole from relatives to feed drug habit sentenced to state prison

Published January 12. 2018 07:56AM

A Carbon County man who stole money from relatives to feed his drug habit was sentenced to a state prison term on Thursday after pleading guilty to burglary and theft charges.

Joshua Paul Hoffman, 23, of Palmerton, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to serve one to two years in a state correctional institution on the burglary charge and one to 12 months on a theft charge, with the terms running concurrently.

Hoffman admitted entering the home of his uncle and aunt on the 600 block of South Fireline Road in Lower Towamensing Township in October 2017 and stealing money. He made more than one entry and took a total of $440 in cash.

He was also charged with taking $130 in cash from a co-worker. The incident occurred on Nov. 20, and led to the theft charge.

Hoffman’s attorney Jennifer Rapa, of the public defender’s office, said Hoffman had a history of substance abuse.

Hoffman declined to say anything about the incident. However, when questioned by Nanovic, Hoffman said he had been abusing drugs for about five or six years. Heroin was his drug of choice but he admitted using others.

Nanovic told him, “Apparently you felt drugs were more important to you than family.”

Hoffman’s uncle told the court his nephew needed help for his drug problem.

Nanovic said the state system offers the best chance for Hoffman to get the type of help he needs. He told Hoffman to take advantage of what the state offers “before you kill yourself.”

In addition to the prison term, Nanovic ordered Hoffman to get a drug and alcohol evaluation, pay court costs of about $1,000 and make restitution of the money taken from victims.

He was given credit for 46 days spent in prison to date on the charges.

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