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Carbon County Court - Guilty pleas

Published September 27. 2019 08:50AM

 

Two defendants in pending criminal cases entered guilty pleas on Thursday in Carbon County court to drug-dealing charges.

They were among 11 defendants in pending drug-related cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Lansford sale

Alicia Hibbler, 40, of Tamaqua, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

She was arrested following a controlled buy set up by Lansford police as part of an ongoing investigation into drug dealing in the area. She sold the drugs to a confidential informant on Aug. 8 in the area of Boyer’s Market along Bertsch Street.

Hibbler, who is currently an inmate in the county prison, will 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 correctional institution followed by a period of time in a state-run intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation program and then in a halfway house.

She will now be transferred to a state prison to be evaluated for program. Sentencing will occur after the evaluation is completed.

Vehicle stop

Morris Smith, 36, currently an inmate in a federal prison, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, heroin.

He was arrested on March 17, 2015, by state police at Fern Ridge along Interstate 80 in Kidder Township following a traffic stop. A search of the vehicle found quantities of heroin.

Smith is currently serving a nine year federal prison term on drug counts.

Serfass sentenced him to serve 24 to 48 months in a state correctional institution with credit for 177 days already served. He was also ordered to supply a DNA sample and zero tolerance imposed for drug or alcohol use. The term runs concurrent with the federal sentence. He will be returned to federal custody.

Other pleas

Brandon Mendez, 25, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded guilty in four pending cases to three counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Three of the charges are for an incident on July 17 filed by Jim Thorpe police. He was arrested along South Street after police responded to a report of a protection from abuse violation. Crystal methamphetamine and paraphernalia were found. When he was taken to the county prison on the charges, he was found with drugs on him. Nesquehoning police filed those charges.

The fourth case occurred on Aug. 29, 2018, filed by Mahoning Township police when officers responded to a domestic incident.

Mendez, who is an inmate in the county prison on the charges, will apply for placement in the state Intermediate Punishment Program. He will now be transferred to a state correctional institution to be evaluated for the program.

Brandon Kuklentz, 26, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance, heroin/fentanyl. He was arrested on July 22 by Nesquehoning police along Route 93 when officers responded to a disabled vehicle report. Kuklentz was found at the scene.

Serfass sentenced him to serve six to 12 months in the county prison. He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed for drug or alcohol use and render 50 hours of community service when paroled.

The sentence runs concurrent with a prison term he is now serving in the county jail.

Damon David Trine, 32, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

He was arrested on Feb. 28 by Lehighton police along Route 443 near the Sunoco station.

Serfass sentenced him to serve three to 12 months in prison and ordered he to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service when paroled.

Currently an inmate in the county prison, he was given credit for four days already served.

Constance Miller, 54, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested on Aug. 12, 2018, by Lehighton police following a traffic stop along East Street. She was a passenger in the vehicle.

Serfass placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 25 hours of community service.

Lloyd R. Heckman, 43, of Parryville, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested on July 16, 2018, by Nesquehoning police for having illegal substances in the county prison. He was sentenced to serve three to 12 months in the county prison and ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation. He is currently an inmate in the county prison.

John Walter Rosenberg, 33, of Holbrook, New York, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on June 18 by Lansford police following a traffic stop at Water and Springgarden streets.

He was placed on probation for nine months and ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 75 hours of community service.

Ludwig Terrance Auch-Schwelk, 55, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on July 11 by state police at Fern Ridge following a traffic stop at Route 903 in Towamensing Trails, Penn Forest Township.

He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service.

Brandon S. Scheller, 28, of Saylorsburg, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

He was arrested on June 28 by Summit Hill police following a traffic stop along Laurel Drive.

He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and render 50 hours of community service.

Kody Devin Beil, 27, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was arrested on July 3, 2015, by state police at Lehighton along Bridge Street in Weissport during a regulatory checkpoint operation.

He was fined $300.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs of about $1,000 and a $50 per month supervision fee.

 

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