December 30, 2011
Two vehicles stolen in Nanticoke
City police are investigating the theft
of two vehicles.
A 1989 Chevrolet K1500 pickup truck was reported stolen at
9:43 a.m. Friday from the 200 block of Railroad Street. The truck is black with
gold on each side and has no registration plate or muffler.
A 1997 Plymouth
Voyager minivan was reported stolen at 8:15 a.m. Thursday from the 400 block of
East Main Street. The van is green and has a registration plate GKE-0503.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact Nanticoke police
December 30, 2011
plead guilty to mayor assault
Assistant district attorney is seeking a four-
to eight-year prison sentence for each man.
Three men accused of assaulting Nanticoke Mayor
Joseph Dougherty and burglarizing several stores in the Wyoming Valley pleaded
guilty to related charges Thursday.
Steven Brannigan, 21, Daniel Banks, 25,
and Thomas Owens, 21, all of Wilkes-Barre, entered their pleas before Luzerne
County Senior Judge Hugh Mundy.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Hogans
said he is seeking a four- to eight-year prison sentence for each man when they
are sentenced on Feb. 9.
Each man pleaded guilty to six related charges including
criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy to commit
simple assault and criminal conspiracy to commit burglary.
The three men are
charged with assaulting Dougherty by pulling him out of a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
on June 25, striking him with a club, then using the vehicle to commit burglaries
in three different municipalities.
Police said the men then burned the car
in a wooded area in Huntington Township.
Dougherty, 44, an automotive paint
salesman for Colours Inc., said he was sitting in his company car that was idling
in the 300 block of East Green Street, Nanticoke, just after 11 p.m.
and an interior dome light were turned on when, Dougherty said, he was pulled
from the vehicle by three men in their late teens or early 20s.
police said Dougherty reported he was beaten with a club or a stick. He was treated
at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.
the three men then used the vehicle to commit robberies at the Sunoco service
station on the Sans Souci Parkway and Dons Deli on West End Road, both in
They were also are suspects in an attempted burglary at
the Variety Shop on East Main Street, Newport Township, and a burglary at the
Countryside Market on Main Road in Hunlock Township.
State police recovered
the car, which was torched in woods near Zachery Road and state Route 239 in Huntington
Township on June 26.
Banks told investigators he used gasoline to set the
vehicle on fire, according to the complaints.
Nanticoke man faces assault charges after bar fight
A Nanticoke man was charged with
two counts of assault and one count of harassment after hitting another customer
with a pool stick and throwing a beer mug at a bartender.
to authorities, police were dispatched to the Prospect St. Cafe in Nanticoke at
12:12 a.m. Dec. 20 for a report that a man attacked people in the bar and then
left in a blue mini-van.
At the bar, police spoke with
Vincent Rodriguez, who played pool with Lee Antonik, of 274 Miner Ave., before
the attack. Rodriguez told police that Antonik asked to play for money, but after
Rodriguez said no, the two agreed to play for no money. After the game, Rodriguez
sat at the bar.
Bartender Chris Catchpole said after
the game, Antonik put $5 on the bar and said "double it." Catchpole
told Antonik that any agreements about money were between Antonik and Rodriguez.
Catchpole then went to help other customers. With Rodriguez's back to him, Antonik
allegedly struck Rodriguez three times with a pool stick, once on the upper arm,
once on the back, and once on the leg. Catchpole saw the assault and told Antonik
to leave. Antonik began to leave and Catchpole told him he could not take a mug
of beer with him. Antonik threw the mug at Catchpole and nearly hit him, police
City police reported the following:
Police investigated a burglary at The Medicine Shoppe,
69 N. Market St., on Tuesday night. Police said a window was smashed just before
9:30 p.m. and prescription medications were stolen.
Mike Jezewski reported
scrap aluminum was stolen from a business on Alden Road.
of West Green Street, reported an unknown person entered his landlords garage
and stole a 1986 Honda quad, which is white, red and yellow.
cited Matthew Ceppa, of Glen Lyon, with public drunkenness after investigating
a report of door banging. Ceppa was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional
Facility on an unrelated warrant.
Kristyn Lutecki, of South Market
Street, reported mirrors and windows on a vehicle were damaged.
Potora, of Phillips Street, reported a mirror was damaged on a vehicle.
Police apprehended Gerard Jenkins, of Nanticoke, at Cocoa Hut, East Main Street,
on a warrant from Monroe County for failure to appear.
A man was arraigned Thursday in Wilkes-Barre Central
Court for his alleged role in stealing aluminum from a business in August
Joshua George Hallas, 29, of West Ridge
Street, Nanticoke, was charged with theft, criminal mischief, defiant trespass
and criminal conspiracy to commit theft. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional
Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.
Police allege Hallas and Mark Anthony Luczak,
29, of River Street, Nanticoke, stole 4,000 pounds of aluminum from Eclipse Fleet
on West Union Street, according to the criminal complaint.
Hallas used bolt
cutters to cut a fence and drove his pickup truck to the metal that they sold
as scrap at a Wilkes-Barre metal recycler, the criminal complaint says.
is facing charges of receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy in Luzerne
Hallas is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 21 before
District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Nanticoke man gets 20 months for mortgage fraud
A judge on Thursday ordered a Nanticoke
man to spend 20 months in federal prison in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme,
the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Richard Woods, 54, previously pleaded
guilty to a charge of mail fraud, authorities said.
Woods is the third defendant
to be sentenced in the case, which led to a 2007 indictment by a grand jury.
The FBI alleged the operators of First Advantage Mortgage Company, which was based
in Lake Ariel and later Hamlin, and Four Star Mortgage Company in Gouldsboro,
used false appraisals, false documents and false employment records to qualify
customers for inflated mortgages and loans between 1999 and 2005.
the customers subsequently defaulted on the mortgages and loans, resulting in
losses to banks and other financial institutions, authorities said.
said Woods admitted he prepared numerous false real estate appraisals to qualify
borrowers for inflated mortgages.
David Marinus, 45, of Apollo Circle, was arraigned Wednesday
in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges he assaulted his girlfriend, Heather
Szymaszek, inside their apartment.
was charged with simple assault and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne County
Correctional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.
claimed Szymaszek was hitting him. She was treated at Geisinger Wyoming Valley
Medical Center in Plains Township, police said.
hearing is scheduled on Dec. 7.
police seek witnesses to motorcycle crash
- Citizens Voice
Nanticoke police are
investigating a motorcycle crash that sent a 45-year-old man to the hospital with
critical injuries Monday night on Main Street.
Police said Myron Malloy of
Nanticoke was traveling on the 400 block of East Main Street around 8:15 p.m.
when he lost control and fell off the 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle.
about 60 feet from where he skidded and lost control. He was taken to Geisinger
Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, where he was in critical condition
Monday night, police said.
The motorcycle skidded nearly 150 feet, coming
to rest at 444 E. Main St.
Police said they spoke to two motorists who witnessed
part of the incident.
The first witness, while traveling on Main Street, saw
a "quick flash" pass her vehicle near a curve in the road. She looked
in the rearview mirror and saw the person and motorcycle sliding along the road.
The second witness just made a left turn onto Main Street from State Street. Shortly
after completing the turn, she saw the motorcycle and driver sliding past the
side of her vehicle.
Police said Malloy doesn't have a license to operate
the motorcycle and there was no legal registration plate on the vehicle. Investigators
said Malloy was traveling faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit.
on Malloy's condition was not immediately available. Investigators said he was
wearing a helmet.
Police are looking for additional witnesses to the crash.
Anyone with information should call city police at 570-735-2200.
Shots fired into two houses in Nanticoke
Citizens voice staff report
Nanticoke police are
seeking information about who fired shots into two houses in the 100 block of
Orchard Street on Sunday morning.
At one house, a single
shot was fired into the front window, and the projectile was recovered inside.
The second house had a single shot fired into the front
door. Police said the projectile went through the aluminum storm door and the
metal front door and lodged in a closet.
told police they heard two gunshots at about 4:30 a.m. and saw a small four-door
vehicle in the area.
The projectiles are believed to
be from a handgun. Both were recovered and will be submitted to the crime laboratory
for further analysis.
Nanticoke police were assisted
by the state police forensic unit from Troop P, Wyoming. Anyone with information
about the incidents is asked to call Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200.
seek info on attempted robbery
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
Nanticoke police are investigating an attempted robbery
Monday at the Cocoa Hut convenience store at 195 Middle Road.
a man walked in the store, formerly called Uni-Mart, at around 7:18 p.m. and demanded
money several times.The man fled without getting any cash, police said.
wasnt given any money and fled the store. He took off into the woods
in the citys Hanover section, said Detective Capt. William Shultz.
suspect was described as a white male, about 62 and 240 pounds. He
was wearing all dark clothing with a hood over his head and face.
information is asked to call 911 or Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200.
City police reported
the following incidents
Jerome Delkanic, of West Broad Street, reported that someone flattened the tires
on his vehicle.
Janet Wright, of East Main Street, reported that someone
removed a black, green and white Mongoose Crush bicycle from her back porch.
Police said they cited Heather Szymaszek, of Apollo Circle, with public
drunkenness after they said she was causing a disturbance outside of the Prospect
Florence Cheshinski, of West Grant Street, reported someone
threw a rock at her back porch window, smashing it.
of Front Street, reported to police that someone entered his vehicle and stole
a pack of cigarettes and a cup of loose change.
Michael Taylor, of
East Grove Street, reported someone stole the driver side mirror off of his Jeep
Police said Michael Bieble, of Center Street, reported someone
entered his vehicle and stole a Sirius radio, an iPod Touch, various CDs and a
bottle of American Eagle cologne.
Heather Keller, of South Market Street,
reported to police that someone entered her home and stole a Wii game system.
Charles Hampton, of Maple Street, reported to police that someone stole
a 10-by-12 tan rug from his porch.
Police said Howard Stritzinger,
of Prince Street, was cited for public drunkenness after he was observed walking
on West Broad Street, staggering and almost falling. Police said he was taken
Police said they charged Bret David Clark, 35, of Plymouth,
with violating a protection-from-abuse order after a woman reported Clark was
following her on Nov. 17.
Police said they charged Mark Ryan Viniarski,
42, of West Noble Street, Nanticoke, with simple assault and harassment after
police were called to a domestic dispute on Nov. 18. Police said Viniarski was
intoxicated and pushed a woman.
Pedestrian struck in Nanticoke; police seek witnesses
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
police are looking for witnesses to a vehicle-versus-pedestrian crash that sent
an 83-year-old woman to the hospital Friday morning.
Police said Mary Conrad,
of Nanticoke, was crossing East Main Street, not within the crosswalk, when she
was slightly struck by a vehicle operated by Clifford Farides, 60, of Bloomsburg.
Farides was making a left turn from North Market Street onto Main Street when
the incident occurred around 11:48 a.m., police said.
Conrad was knocked to
the ground and transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains
Township. The woman's injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
who witnessed the crash is asked to call Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200.
Thief gets 4- to 8-year sentence
Kemmerer, Nanticoke, had admitted to dozen charges stemming from 5 incidents.
A Nanticoke man was sentenced Thursday
to four to eight years in state prison on a dozen charges stemming from five incidents,
including burglaries at Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township.
Senior Judge Hugh Mundy sentenced Jonathan Michael Kemmerer, 27, of East Broad
Street, on two counts of robbery; three counts of criminal trespassing; four counts
of theft by unlawful taking; two counts of criminal mischief, and one count of
possessing an instrument of crime.
Kemmerer pleaded guilty to the charges
According to court papers:
On Jan. 28, Kemmerer robbed the
Cocoa Hut on East Main Street in Nanticoke, telling a clerk he had a gun.
Kemmerer took an undetermined amount of cash and left the store. A surveillance
video captured the robbery, and Kemmerer was identified as the suspect. On Jan.
1, Kemmerer burglarized a Broad Street, Nanticoke, residence and took copper piping.
That same month, Kemmerer and another man burglarized Moon Lake Park along state
Route 29, owned by Luzerne County Parks and Recreation Department, two separate
Aluminum dividers and copper piping were stolen in the incidents.
Most recently, on June 24, Kemmerer walked into Shellys Pizza on Carey Avenue
in Hanover Township and asked to use the bathroom.
When he left the bathroom,
he approached the counter and told the clerk he had a gun and wanted money.
About $330 was taken, and Kemmerer fled. He later told investigators he spent
the money on cocaine and that he committed the robbery because of a drug addiction.
Mundy ordered Kemmerer to pay $3,074 in restitution and said Kemmerer will receive
35 days credit for time already served in prison.
Assistant District Attorney
Albert Yacoub prosecuted the case. Kemmerer was represented by attorney Thomas
Cometa filed a request to modify Kemmerers sentence shortly
after his hearing Thursday, asking that all of Kemmerers sentences run concurrent
to each other for a total of 18 to 36 months in prison.
Cometa said his client
has been drug-free since his arrest and he has accepted responsibility for his
actions by pleading guilty.
City police reported the following:
Michael Tolodziewski, of West Union Street, reported
someone entered his vehicle and stole two knives, a compass, a spotlight, a folding
tree saw, camo coveralls and a camo backpack.
Brenda Klos, of Apollo
Circle, reported soda was poured on her vehicle.
of West Union Street, reported items were stolen from her vehicle.
Mary Jane Nestorick, of West Union Street, reported items were stolen from her
Police said they cited Clement Sosnak Jr., of West Main Street,
with public drunkenness when he was allegedly found staggering on West Main Street.
Heather Tolodziewski, of Apollo Circle, reported jewelry and medication
was stolen during a burglary at her apartment.
John Balut, of South
Market Street, reported a tire was flattened on his vehicle on Spruce Street.
Tara Yokavonis, of East Grand Street, reported a tire was slashed and nails
were put in another tire on her vehicle.
assault, terroristic threat and reckless endangerment charges against Nassieve
Wilson, 34, of West Green Street, were dismissed during a preliminary hearing
Nanticoke police had accused of threatening Shayla Perry with
a handgun during an argument at his residence on Oct. 23, according to the criminal
A man accused by Newport Township police
of drunken driving with a child waived his right to a preliminary hearing before
District Judge Donald Whittaker on Wednesday.
William H. Weaver, 50, of South
River Street, Wilkes-Barre, waived two counts of driving under the influence and
a single count of child endangerment to Luzerne County Court.
withdrew charges of reckless endangerment and three traffic violations against
Weaver had a blood alcohol level of .185 percent when he was stopped
by police on Rock Street on July 4. A 12-year-old boy was in Weavers vehicle,
according to the criminal complaint.
McDermott, 58, of Miner Avenue, Newport Township, pleaded guilty to a defiant
trespass charge during a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Donald
Nanticoke police accused McDermott of entering a garage on East
Grand Street and rummaging through bags on Oct. 9, according to the criminal complaint.
Police withdrew charges of burglary and possessing instruments of crime.
4 arrested in home drug raid
Police said they made
controlled buys of heroin from Nanticoke residence.
Days before seizing more than 800 packets of heroin
in a raid of an East Main Street house, police made controlled buys of heroin
from the residence, according to arrest papers.
Police arrested four people,
including two men from Brooklyn, N.Y., and seized crack cocaine, marijuana and
a gun, the papers said.
Nigel Errol Sandy, 24, and William Edward Reid, 23,
both of Brooklyn, and Hector J. Lopez, 22, and Karl T. Traynham, 28, both of Nanticoke,
were held for lack of bail on various drug charges at the Luzerne County Correctional
According to affidavits of probable cause to support the arrests:
State police provided money to a confidential informant on Oct. 18 and 24 to buy
heroin at the residence from a person who used the street name Hec.
Portions of the controlled buys tested positive for heroin.
state police and Nanticoke police searched the residence and seized 842 packets
of heroin that matched the previous controlled buys from Lopez.
A cell phone
that had the number called by the informant was seized from Lopez as well as $80
used to make one of the controlled buys two days earlier.
All four men were
in the residence at the time of the raid.
In addition, a Nanticoke police
dog used in drug searches reacted to a scent in a car parked in front of the residence.
Reid told police he drove the car owned by his uncle in Williamsport to Nanticoke
from New York City.
Police obtained a search warrant for the car and seized
a gun as well as three black bags that were identical to the one in the residence
that contained unopened packets of heroin.|
Police also said a deodorizing
material was sprinkled throughout the car to try to thwart dogs trained to detect
A man was arraigned Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges he assaulted
Bret Clark, 35, of Orchard Street,
Nanticoke, was charged with simple assault, stalking and harassment. He was released
on $5,000 unsecured bail.
Police allege Clark assaulted his wife during an
argument inside their residence Tuesday night, according to the criminal complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Nov. 2 before District Judge Donald Whittaker
gun dealer seeks fair sentencing
In a letter to U.S. District Court Senior Judge
Edwin M. Kosik, D&R Sports Center owner Mark Komoroski claimed the wrong federal
guidelines were used to determine his sentence.
A Nanticoke sporting goods
dealer currently in federal prison for conspiring to illegally ship paramilitary
equipment to Russia will get a chance to prove his sentencing was unfair.
Mark Komoroski, owner of D&R Sports Center, petitioned U.S. District Court
Senior Judge Edwin M. Kosik to allow him a hearing to "vacate, set aside
or correct" his sentence, alleging he unjustly received a longer prison term
than his co-conspirator due to use of the wrong federal guidelines.
turned down Komoroski's request to be released from the Federal Correctional Institution
in Fort Dix, N.J. on bail, but granted him the hearing, to be held at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 14 in the William J. Nealon federal courthouse in Scranton.
said Komoroski and Russian national Sergey Korznikov conspired to smuggle equipment
such as rifle scopes and face shields from the United States to Russia for sale
to persons unknown.
Both men pleaded guilty, but Kosik sentenced Komoroski
on July 29, 2010, to 32 months - 2.6 years - imprisonment, two years of supervised
release and a $10,000 fine, while sentencing Korznikov this past July to six months
in prison and two years of supervised release.
Komoroski's contention is his
sentence was incorrectly determined under guidelines for offenses involving national
defense and weapons of mass destruction, while Korznikov's was determined using
federal guidelines for economic offenses, which have lighter penalties.
reality, my offense was indistinguishable from Korznikov's," Komoroski wrote
in his earlier letter to Kosik, in which he asked for the hearing and a reopening
of records related to the sentencing guidelines. "We conspired to smuggle
goods outside of the U.S. without properly stating the value of such goods to
avoid Korznikov having to pay import taxes to Russia."
Komoroski is due
to get out of prison on Dec. 12, 2012, according to his wife Lecia, who also believes
her husband's sentence is unfair and has been pushing for an earlier release.
She was happy to learn of the Dec. 14 hearing and says if her husband comes home,
"It'll be the best Christmas present my family ever had in our lifetimes."
Police: Man threatens
to kill stepdaughter after she changes TV channel
man pulled a gun and threatened to kill his stepdaughter Sunday night because
she changed a television channel, Nanticoke police said.
After the channel
flip, an irate Nassieve Omar Wilson unplugged the television and retrieved a loaded
handgun from his vehicle outside the home at 115 W. Green St., police said.
Police said Wilson returned inside the home, pointed the gun at stepdaughter Shayla
Perry and vowed to kill her.
During questioning by police, Wilson acknowledged
he threatened to kill Perry if she "messed with" him or his son, investigators
said. He said he feared Perry because she promised to "get rid" of him
multiple times in the past.
Police charged Wilson, 34, with aggravated assault,
simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats.
According to arrest papers:
Police were called to 115 W. Green St. on Sunday
around 8:15 p.m. for a domestic dispute involving a gun. Officers met with Perry,
who said Wilson pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her while she was
watching television with her younger sister. Her mother kept yelling "No"
and tried to push his arms down to prevent him from pointing the gun at her, she
said. Fearing "the worst," Perry said she fled the home.
then met with Wilson on the porch. He invited them inside. Police said he admitted
confronting Perry with the gun because she changed the channel while his son was
watching television. He said he retrieved the weapon because he felt threatened
by Perry. Wilson, however, said he never pointed the gun at her.
seized the gun, a Ruger P95, which was loaded with 12 rounds.
Wilson was taken
into custody and lodged in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for overnight
arraignment. Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker arraigned Wilson on Monday
morning and ordered him jailed in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.
Omas Wilson, 34, of West Green Street, Nanticoke, was arraigned Monday by District
Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on four counts of aggravated assault, and
one count each of simple assault, reckless endangerment and terroristic threats
for allegedly using a gun to threaten a woman.
He was jailed at the county
prison for lack of $100,000 bail.
Police allege Wilson got into an argument
with Shayla Perry about changing a station on a television his son was watching
inside his residence just after 8 p.m. Sunday. Perry said Wilson aimed a gun at
her and threatened to shoot her during the argument, the criminal complaint says.
Police said the gun was loaded.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Nov. 2
woman charged with retail theft
Conklin, of 109 Welles St., Nanticoke, is facing charges of theft.
said Conklin tried to take $21 worth of merchandise from the Family Dollar store.
Police Wednesday reported the following:
Jennifer Souder of East Green
Street was cited with harassment for attempting to stop someone who had been staying
with her from leaving her apartment, police said.
Lamont Diggs of East
Washington Street said the front door of his residence was kicked and two televisions,
prescription medication, a bubble gum machine, a gold stamp collection and a Sony
game system were stolen.
Judith Kotch of West Grand Street said an
Acer Aspire laptop computer was taken from her apartment during a burglary.
Amy Sauers of Hill Street said her sons blue and gray Huffy bike
was stolen from her property.
Brittany OGorman of North Chestnut
Street said her vehicle was entered and an iPod Nano and prescription medication
Frank Nowakowski of Espy Street said his grandsons
DK Cyclone bike was stolen from his yard. The bike is white with purple rims.
David Letteer of East Ridge Street said he was assaulted and robbed in
the area of College and East Main streets. Letteer said he was grabbed from behind
and his head was pushed into a telephone pole causing him to black out. When he
came to he discovered that money was missing from his wallet.
Tinney, 46, of East Ridge Street was charged with resisting arrest, public drunkenness
and disorderly conduct on Oct.7. Tinney threatened her husband after he refused
to give her the keys to their car. Police subdued her with a Taser after she struggled
with an officer outside her house.
Denis Richard McDermott, 58, of
Miner Avenue, Newport Township was charged with burglary, criminal trespass and
possessing instruments of crime after police found him inside a residence on East
Grand Street on Oct. 9. A witness said he saw McDermott use a pry bar to open
a door on the residence. Police said they found a flashlight and a screwdriver
on McDermott and a pry bar and a backpack with screwdrivers, a hammer and three
towels outside the residence.
John Michael Norcross, 42, of East Ridge
Street was charged possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia
on Oct. 10. Police said he had two and a half tablets of the narcotic medication
Suboxone on him after he was seen entering and leaving a residence known for drug
activity on South Market Street.
John Sabecky, 51, of Oak Street, was
charged with simple assault and harassment after he hit his wife Linda in the
mouth and dragged her across the floor around 3:20 a.m. on Monday. Linda Sabecky
said she was assaulted during an argument with her husband, who came home intoxicated
and was trying to cook something on the stove. She said left the residence and
when police located her in a convenience store parking lot on Middle Road she
said she was afraid her husband was going to burn down their home.
A man was arrested for beating his wife after she warned
him it wasn't a good idea to cook on the stove at 3:30 a.m. while he was intoxicated,
D. Sabecky, 51, of 125 Oak St., is charged with simple assault and harassment.
Police said Linda Sabecky fled to a convenience store on Middle Road to call the
police after the assault. She told police she was concerned her husband was going
to burn the house down while cooking intoxicated, so she confronted him.
Sabecky then started choking her and hit her in the face, causing her lip to bleed.
He then drug her across the floor, she said.
John Sabecky was jailed in lieu
of $10,000 bail.
Nanticoke, concern after the second lab bust in a month
Nanticoke police charged a man Thursday
with drug crimes after uncovering another methamphetamine lab in the city over
Authorities said the meth lab operated out of 255 Apollo Circle,
a subsidized housing development where the suspect, Bradley Evanitus, occasionally
The 27-year-old is charged with felony counts of manufacturing methamphetamine
and related crimes, including risking a catastrophe and illegal dumping of meth
Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker arraigned Evanitus and
ordered him jailed in lieu of $75,000 cash bail.
Production of meth - with
volatile, potentially explosive components - is hazardous enough, but Evanitus
would simply discard the toxic chemicals in the household trash placed outside
in the densely populated complex, Nanticoke police Detective Capt. William Shultz
"I am very concerned with it happening in this particular housing
development," Shultz said. "There's a lot of children there."
According to arrest papers:
The woman who leases the apartment, Jessica Kashatus,
called police last Friday to say she was out of town and suspected drug activity
was taking place at her residence. She asked police to enter her property, remove
the people and have it padlocked.
Police and officials from the Nanticoke
Housing Authority entered the property and located Evanitus inside with a woman.
Investigators said they initially spotted heroin, syringes and drug paraphernalia.
Then, they found a host of items commonly used to manufacture meth, including:
pseudophedrine, Coleman fuel, drain cleaner, lye, ammonium nitrate, lithium, sodium,
plastic tubing, coffee filters and funnels.
Evanitus admitted to investigators
he had cooked meth two days earlier.
Evanitus was arrested and jailed on the
heroin charges, while a clandestine response team investigated the suspected lab
and a state police forensic scientist inventoried, collected and secured the items.
Evanitus wasn't a tenant of the apartment, but "he was allowed to stay there"
at times, Shultz said.
He was transported from jail for the arraigned Thursday
on the meth-related charges.
This was the second alleged meth lab busted in
Nanticoke in the last month.
Authorities raided a property at 5 Alden Road
on Sept. 22 and charged Jeffrey DeLuca, 41, with manufacturing methamphetamine
and related crimes.
City police worked on both cases with the state attorney
general's office and state police.
"It's another step in our ongoing
investigation into methamphetamine manufacturing and trafficking in Luzerne County,"
John Soprano, regional director of the attorney general's office, said.
are going to be continuing. There are going to be more arrests in the future and
we're going to continue the battle against meth," he said.
Arrested hitchhiker found with stolen garbage stickers
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
arrested a hitchhiker early Tuesday on West Main Street and seized some of his
belongings, which included brass knuckles, a knife, two 24-ounce cans of beer
and dozens of Ashley Borough garbage stickers.
Donald E. Shoemaker, 47, no
known address, is charged with possession of prohibited offensive weapons and
According to arrest papers:
Police on patrol located
Shoemaker hitchhiking along the 400 block of West Main Street around 12:22 a.m.
and stopped to assist. While speaking to police, Shoemaker, who reeked of alcohol
and had trouble speaking, dropped the brass knuckles on the ground, police said.
Soon, he acknowledged he also had a knife in his waistband, police said. Police
said he also possessed two cans of beer and 45 Ashley garbage stickers.
about the stickers, Shoemaker said he "took them from my buddy" and
planned to "sell them for money."
In Ashley, residents can purchase
a packet of 78 stickers for $125 and additional ones cost $1, officials said.
Suicide threat closes portion of Sans Souci
A man threatening to commit suicide
forced a shutdown of part of the Sans Souci Parkway early Tuesday morning, police
Police said they got a call from the man's ex-girlfriend around 1 a.m.
that he planned to jump off the Route 29 overpass to kill himself.
police found the man, 22, standing on the top railing of the bridge. He told police
he no longer wanted to live.
Hanover Township and Nanticoke police began negotiations
with the man, and he was rescued. The man was taken for a mental health evaluation.
A man was arraigned
Thursday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges he assaulted his wife.
David Junior Dasilva, 23, of Railroad
Street, was charged with simple assault and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne
County Correctional Facility for lack of $5,000 bail.
Police said Megan Dasilva
claimed her husband assaulted her during an argument about pictures being deleted
on a media card on Sept. 20, according to the criminal complaint.
hearing is scheduled on Oct. 5 before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
of assaulting Nanticoke mayor waive hearing
The three men accused of severely
beating the Nanticoke mayor and using his car for a wild county-wide crime spree
appeared in court Wednesday, facing their alleged victims for the first time.
Daniel Thomas Banks, 24, of Nanticoke; Steven Brannigan, 20, of Hanover Township;
and Thomas Maxwell Owens, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, each agreed to waive their preliminary
hearings on a numerous charges that could keep them behind bars for years. Afterward,
they were sent back to prison, each on bails more than $1 million, to await the
resolution of their cases in county court.
While waiting for their cases to
begin in court Wednesday, however, they spent most of their time laughing and
joking with each other about their past six weeks in prison, like learning how
to play pinochle and being turned down for jailhouse jobs because of the seriousness
of their charges. One of the suspects, speaking with two females who came to greet
and hug them, suggested the group of arresting officers in the room were "corrupt."
After the brief hearing, Luzerne County Deputy District Attorney David Pedri vowed
to vigorously prosecute the case.
"This is something we are taking very
seriously. We have three individuals who went on a crime spree, who hurt various
people in various municipalities," Pedri said. "This type of activity
can not be tolerated."
Investigators said the three men bludgeoned Nanticoke
Mayor Joseph Dougherty with brass knuckles, a wooden bat and their fists outside
his East Green Street home the evening of June 25. Police said they then took
his car and committed a series of "smash and grab" burglaries at Countryside
Market in Hunlock Creek, Variety Stop in Glen Lyon, the Sans Souci Sunoco in Hanover
Township and Don's Deli in Hanover Township. They then torched Dougherty's vehicle
in a remote part of Huntington Township, police said.
Nanticoke, Hanover Township
and Newport Township police departments, along with state police at Wyoming and
Shickshinny, worked together to make the arrests. They obtained surveillance footage
and then confessions from each suspect, police said.
The suspects are next
scheduled to appear in county court on Dec. 2 for formal arraignment.
A man was arraigned
Friday on charges he burglarized an apartment on West Ridge Street.
Kenneth Pennington, 23, of East
State Street, Nanticoke, was charged with three counts of criminal conspiracy,
and one count each of burglary, theft and criminal trespass. He was jailed at
the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.
allege Pennington and Joshua Frame, 29, of Nanticoke, burglarized an apartment
on West Ridge Street, stealing a television, a DVD player and two video game systems
on Sept. 4, according to the criminal complaint.
Frame was arrested Sept.
6 on burglary and theft related charges. He remains jailed at the county prison
for lack of $40,000 bail.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled on Oct. 12 before
District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Man operated meth factory, officials say
J. DeLuca of Nanticoke said he ran drug-making operation to earn a living, say
unemployed man manufactured methamphetamine for at least seven months, using proceeds
to pay his bills, authorities allege.
Agents with the state Office
of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Nanticoke police arrested
Jeffrey J. DeLuca, 41, on Thursday after allegedly finding medicine and other
contraband inside his Alden Road apartment used to cook methamphetamine.
wasnt your mom-and-pop operation, said Deputy Attorney General Tim
Doherty. He certainly knew what he was doing.
DeLucas apartment at 5 Alden Road just after 7 a.m. and found cold medicine,
chemicals, funnels, iodine, hot plates, anti-freeze, scales and plastic tubing.
Doherty said the items seized are used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Soprano, regional director for the attorney general, said the lab was large
Soprano said agents with the AGs clandestine team safely
removed the chemicals from the apartment.
A first-floor apartment was vacant,
DeLuca was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover
Township on three counts of possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture
a controlled substance, and one count each of manufacture of a controlled substance,
possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, unlawful possession
of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and risking or causing
DeLucas Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was seized, Soprano
said, because agents believe he was using the vehicle to deliver and sell methamphetamine.
Its an ongoing case that were building on, Doherty said.
He had the baking ingredients for a methamphetamine operation.
DeLuca allegedly told authorities he began cooking methamphetamine in February
from the apartment. He said he was not working and needed to pay his bills
and to pay his daily living expenses, according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities allege in the complaint DeLuca claimed he acquired the ingredients
from various people, and last cooked methamphetamine Wednesday night.
was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Sept. 28.
Family fight results in stabbing, charges
Nanticoke police are
investigating a family fight that sent two men to the hospital Monday.
altercation, which allegedly started over text messages, started when 28-year-old
Zachery Hallas went to Apollo Circle around 1::47 a.m. to speak with Steven Tagnani,
The two men fought, both claiming they were defending themselves. Hallas
said he was struck with a car jack. Tagnani was stabbed with a knife.
said both men were transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains
Township where they were treated and released.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Nanticoke City Police at 570-735-2200,
ext. 205 or 206
Friday around 11 a.m., police arrested Kuren for breaking into 741 S. Prospect
St. in Nanticoke. He was caught in the basement. While the property was not in
the flood zone, Kuren admitted he was trying to capitalize on the flood emergency,
believe he was taking advantage of the situation," said Nanticoke police
Capt. William Shultz. "He did admit he knew a flood was going on. He did
in during a natural disaster."
Charged with burglary, trespassing and
theft, Kuren was jailed on $75,000 cash bail.
German shepherd returned to owner after attack
dog mauled a tiny poodle outside a South Hanover Street home in Nanticoke this
German shepherd that mauled a tiny poodle outside a South Hanover Street home
Wednesday was returned to its owner after being held at the SPCA in Plains Township,
authorities said Friday.
Samantha Elliott Krepps, press
secretary for the state Department of Agriculture, said the German shepherd involved
in the attack and a Rottweiler that had been with the shepherd are up to date
with their vaccinations and licenses.
She said the
municipal police department will take point in filing citations if
any are warranted.
A Nanticoke police report lists
Jessica Ann McGahee as the owner of the dogs. She did not return a message seeking
comment on Friday.
In another development, the German
shepherd was not wearing a spike collar, a man who detained the dog said. Jason
Weston, who lives in the 1200 block of South Hanover Street, said he was unaware
the German shepherd was involved in the mauling of a poodle when he placed the
dog on his porch.
Weston said the German shepherd did
not have a collar, countering a claim that the poodles owner may have been
injured by a collar.
Victor Swiderski, 85, said he
was holding his poodle, Ginger, on a leash outside his house in the 1000 block
of South Hanover Street when a German shepherd and a Rottweiler charged into his
yard just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Swiderski said he
bruised his arm when he attempted to pull the German shepherd off his poodle.
He did not know if he was bitten or if the bruises were caused by a spiked collar
he thought the dog had been wearing.
poodle was taken to the Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital in Plains Township
where it died.
The two dogs appeared to have escaped
from a pen outside a house at 1027 S. Hanover St.
said he was inside his house and went outside when his own dog started barking
and saw another dog in his yard.
At first, I
thought it was someone cutting through my yard and I went outside to yell at them,
Weston said. Then I realized it was just two dogs.
said he wrangled the German shepherd and the Rottweiler onto his porch because
he was concerned they would get hit by a vehicle.
Rotty had a collar on, sort of like a choke collar, Weston said. The
German shepherd didnt have a collar on.
said the two dogs were not aggressive, noting the Rottweiler was licking him.
He added he has never seen the two dogs roam freely in the neighborhood, noting
he resides two blocks away.
I found out the dogs
were involved in that mauling when police told me, Weston said.
said the investigation was referred to the state dog law enforcement officer due
to the fact that a human was not bitten.
Officer Jim Spencer deferred questions to the state Department of Agriculture,
which oversees dog laws in Pennsylvania.
A tiny dogs bloody killing leaves a void in its
The Nanticoke case is being investigated because of a possible
bite to a human.
His eyes tearing up, Victor Swiderski stood in
the middle the living room of his South Hanover Street home on Thursday thinking
about the ferocious attack by a large dog that mauled his tiny poodle named Ginger.
Swiderski, 85, said he was standing outside a side door to his home with Ginger
when a German shepherd and a Rottweiler charged into his yard just before 5 p.m.
The German shepherd mauled Ginger, ripping the tiny dog apart,
while the Rottweiler sat several feet away, Swiderski said.
his dog to the Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital in Plains Township where
it was euthanized.
There was nothing they could do, Swiderski
Tears filled Swiderskis eyes as he recalled the attack from inside
his home, standing next to Gingers kennel and bed.
here, its tough to see all the toys for her, Swiderski said.
suffered bruises to his right arm when he tried to pull the larger German shepherd
off the tiny poodle. He does not know if he was bitten by the German shepherd
or if the bruises were caused by its spiked collar.
Nanticoke police Detective
Capt. William Shultz said police captured the two dogs down the street and transported
the animals to the SPCA in Plains Township. Shultz said the case is being investigated
by the state dog officer because it is not definite that the German shepherd bit
It was the most vicious attack Ive ever seen; there
was nothing Ginger could do, Swiderski said.
Swiderski said he took
Ginger outside a side door on a leash to prevent her from running after rabbits.
As soon as he stood on the concrete stoop, Swiderski said his neighbor yelled
to go back inside.
My neighbor yelled to get my dog inside because those
other dogs were running around again, Swiderski said. By the time
I turned around, it was too late.
His neighbor ran over and struck the
German shepherd with a walking stick.
Shultz said the
German shepherd and Rottweiler are owned by Jessica Ann McGahee, who resides at
1027 S. Hanover St., two houses away from the Swiderski residence.
and her boyfriend, Tom Nalbone, were away at the time of the attack, Shultz said.
It remained unknown if she will be cited.
would be up to the dog officer, Shultz said.
dogs appeared to have escaped from an outside pen that can be seen from the street.
A section of the pen appeared damaged.
not return a message for comment on Thursday.
Nanticoke man gets jail on charge of raping child
Stuart W. Weidow III faces lifetime registration under Megans Law.
said he installed a camera in his daughters closet and came home one evening
and saw Weidow running out of his daughters bedroom and into the bathroom.
A Nanticoke man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 to 20 years in state prison on a charge
that he raped a 12-year-old girl over a four-month period.
Judge Lewis Wetzel sentenced Stuart W. Weidow III, 23, of Apollo Circle, on a
charge of rape of a child.
Wetzel said Weidow must register his address under
Megans Law for his entire life.
Youre a young man
try to help yourself (while in prison), Wetzel told Weidow.
guilty to the single charge in May. Prosecutors were seeking a mandatory minimum
sentence of 10 years due to the nature of the charge.
Weidow received 280
days credit for time already served in prison.
According to court papers,
on Oct. 23, police received a call from the father of the 12-year-old girl, who
said he caught Weidow having an inappropriate relationship with his daughter.
The father said that several of the girls friends told him and his wife
about the sexual acts, and that when they confronted the girl, she denied the
The father said he installed a camera in his daughters
closet and came home one evening and saw Weidow running out of his daughters
bedroom and into the bathroom.
The girls father said he watched the
videotape, which clearly showed Weidow having sexual intercourse with his 12-year-old
daughter, court papers said.
The girl told investigators she and Weidow had
been secretly dating since June and said the situation was little
by little getting worse.
Weidow knew how old she was, the girl said,
and that on several occasions they had oral and sexual intercourse, court papers
Wetzel said Weidow is not to have any unsupervised contact with minors
and is not to frequent places minors visit, including parks, playgrounds or public
An evaluation of Weidow was preformed by the state Sexual Offenders
Assessment Board, but Weidow was not determined to be a sexually violent predator.
A man was arraigned Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court
on charges he fought with police investigating a disturbance on private property.
Dustin Lee Pursel, 18, of East
Ridge Street, Nanticoke, was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct,
public drunkenness and purchase of alcohol by a minor. He was released on $2,000
According to the criminal complaint:
a fight at an apartment building on East Noble Street found Pursel lying on the
ground. Police advised Pursel he was on private property.
told police that It is God land and he had the right to be on the
property so he can chill out like the hippies did, the complaint says.
Police said Pursel struggled with officers when he was arrested. He spat inside
the police cruiser and banged his head against a cell wall, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Sept. 7 before District Judge Donald Whittaker
sentenced for stealing from elderly
Kelci Pamela Jones, 23, of Nanticoke,
gets a minimum of a year in county prison.
A woman charged with robbing an elderly man and
taking money from an elderly woman was sentenced Wednesday to a minimum of one
year in the county prison.
Kelci Pamela Jones, 23, with a last known address
of South Market Street, Nanticoke, was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge Lewis
Wetzel on two counts of theft and one count each of criminal trespassing and robbery.
Jones, who pleaded guilty to the charges in June, was sentenced to 12 months less
one day to 24 months less two days. Wetzel said Jones will receive 65 days credit
for time already served and must pay $510 in restitution.
Jones was represented
by attorney John Donovan. Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Reimiller prosecuted
According to court papers, on Oct. 8 police responded to a home
on South Market Street for the report of a robbery.
Norbert Domzalski, 78,
told police he was sleeping when an unknown female entered his home and startled
him. Domzalski said the woman, later identified as Jones, said she would do a
sexual favor for money.
Domzalski told police that when he declined the woman
demanded money from him and tried to take his wallet.
After a struggle with
Domzalski, police said Jones was able to remove $50 in cash and fled.
later, police learned Jones admitted she committed the crime to a friend.
Police later questioned Jones, who said she was under the influence at the time
and went into Domzalskis home to get money.
Jones told police she saw
pants on the floor in Domzalskis home, grabbed for a wallet and was able
to remove $35 that she and another woman allegedly used to purchase two bags of
On Dec. 17, police said Jones took approximately $510 from a 72-year-old
woman while she slept in her East Ridge Street home.
Police said Jones went
shopping with Dolores Storms and Storms cashed a $700 check, using that money
to buy groceries. Afterward, Jones accompanied Storms to her home with her son
and helped put groceries away before Jones began making food in the kitchen.
Storms told police she went to sleep around 9:30 p.m. and woke up about two hours
later to use the bathroom. When she woke up, Storms told police, she found an
empty bank envelope in the kitchen that contained the remaining $510 from her
shopping trip earlier that day.
Storms told police she put the envelope under
a container on a stand next to her bed before going to sleep.
Police: Mayor not specific target of attack
detail how they encountered three suspected in Joseph Doughertys beating.
Police knew assault and
burglary suspect Steven Brannigan was telling a lie.
Officers showed up at
a residence in the Marion Terrace apartment complex looking for Thomas Owens on
They watched Brannigan, 20, and Owens, 21, enter the residence.
After officers knocked on the door, Brannigan allegedly told them he was alone.
Police searched the apartment and found Owens lying on the floor trying to hide
behind a bed, according to charges filed.
Brannigan, Owens and Daniel Banks,
24, were charged Tuesday in the violent beating of Nanticoke Mayor Joseph Dougherty
on June 25.
Nanticoke police Detective Capt. William Shultz said Dougherty
was beaten with brass knuckles and a wooden club on South Chestnut Street before
the trio stole his company-issued vehicle, a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.
called the attack a crime of opportunity, noting Dougherty was not
specifically targeted by the three men.
Brannigan and Owens had been jailed
at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility since their arrests on Aug. 1, when
Owens was found inside the apartment.
Brannigan was charged with hindering
apprehension, and Owens had been a fugitive since Feb. 15 when a Luzerne County
judge issued an arrest warrant for skipping a hearing on a probation violation,
court records show.
Owens pleaded guilty to escape from a youth detention
school in Butler Township in September 2008. He was sentenced to six months probation
but failed to report to a probation officer and tested positive for marijuana,
according to the violation report.
Arrest records indicate investigators were
aware at the time of the pairs arrest on Aug. 1 that they were allegedly
responsible for a two-day crime spree that began with the carjacking and assault
Investigators alleged the three men used the Chevrolet to burglarize
businesses in the townships of Hanover, Hunlock and Newport within several hours
on June 26.
State police at Shickshinny said the car was found torched in
a wooded area near Zachery Road and state Route 239 in Huntington Township on
Banks admitted to investigators he poured gasoline on the vehicle
before he set it on fire, according to arrest records.
Like Brannigan and
Owens, court records show Banks had obstructed police and failed to appear for
a hearing on a probation violation.
Arrest records say Banks tried to prevent
officers from apprehending his brother, who was involved in a disturbance in the
parking lot of Weis Plaza in Nanticoke in June 2006. He was sentenced to six months
probation after he pled guilty to an obstruction charge.
Banks was sentenced
in July 2010 for driving under the influence of marijuana after he crashed his
vehicle on state Route 239 in Mocanaqua in November 2009. A probation violation
was filed against Banks when he failed to pay fines and meet with a probation
An arrest warrant was issued for Banks when he failed to appear for
a probation violation hearing in November. When he was captured, a county judge
in May gave him five months to pay $1,200 in fines.
3 charged in beating of mayor
Trio also accused of
going on a crime spree after taking Nanticoke officials car.
Mayor Joseph Dougherty has a simple message for the three men accused of
beating him with brass knuckles and a wooden club before stealing his company-issued
Enjoy jail, Dougherty said.
Authorities allege Daniel
Banks, 24, Steven Brannigan, 20, and Thomas Owens, 21, all from Wilkes-Barre,
went on a two-day crime spree on June 25 and 26 in four municipalities, stealing
vehicles, burglarizing businesses and intentionally setting a fire, in addition
to the violently assaulting Dougherty.
The three men were arraigned by District
Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on a host of felony and misdemeanor assault,
theft and conspiracy charges that were filed after a joint investigation by state
police at Wyoming and Shickshinny, and police in Hanover Township, Nanticoke and
They were jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility
-- Banks for lack of $1.25 million bail and Brannigan and Owens, $1 million bail
They attempted to steal a vehicle on Prospect Street (Nanticoke)
owned by Peter Kanjorski, said Nanticoke police Detective Capt. William
Shultz. When that failed, they went down two blocks and ran into the mayor.
They beat him and stole his vehicle.
Dougherty said he was sitting in
a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze owned by his employer, Colours Inc., in front of his residence
on South Chestnut Street at about 11 p.m. June 25 waiting for a friend when he
noticed three men walking in the street. Dougherty was pulled from his vehicle
Shultz said the three men used brass knuckles and a small baseball-style
bat to assault Dougherty.
They put a beating on me, he said after
the three men were arraigned. Im very pleased they got arrested. I
want to go to work. Life goes on.
After carjacking Dougherty, authorities
allege, Banks, Brannigan and Owens drove the Chevrolet to Countryside Market on
Main Road in Hunlock Township, where they smashed a glass door and stole cigarettes
and a cash register at about 1:30 a.m. June 26.
The three men then traveled
to Newport Township, where they smashed a glass door at the Variety Shop on East
Main Street in an attempted burglary just after 3 a.m.
Less than an hour later,
authorities allege in the criminal complaint, Banks, Brannigan and Owens drove
to Hanover Township, where they smashed a glass door at the Sunoco service station
on the Sans Souci Parkway and ransacked the business, damaging a lottery machine
and a cash register, and stealing money and cigarettes.
The three men left
Sunoco and traveled a short distance to Dons Deli on West End Road, where
they forced open a door and stole a cash register and damaged a credit card machine
at about 3:45 a.m., the criminal complaints say.
Video captured on surveillance
cameras at several of the businesses helped investigators, Shultz said.
police recovered the Chevrolet, which was torched in woods near Zachery Road and
state Route 239 in Huntington Township on June 26.
Banks allegedly told investigators
he used gasoline to set the vehicle on fire, according to the complaints.
Preliminary hearings for the three men are expected to combine before a single
district judge. A date has not been scheduled.
Suspects charged in Nanticoke mayor's beating, carjacking
men were arrested Tuesday for beating Nanticoke Mayor Joe Dougherty and stealing
his company car in June.8/16/2011
Daniel Thomas Banks, 24, of Nanticoke; Steven Brannigan,
20, of Hanover Township, and Thomas Maxwell Owens, 21, of Wilkes-Barre, were arraigned
before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker. Police said the three men
used Dougherty's car to commit a string of burglaries in other communities throughout
They face a slew of charges in connection with the beating
and carjacking of Dougherty including aggravated assault, simple assault and robbery
of a motor vehicle as well as burglary and related charges in Hanover and Newport
townships and Hunlock Creek.
Dougherty, who talked to the media outside the
arraignment, recalled the night of June 25 when three men bludgeoned him outside
his home on East Green Street and stole his vehicle. He said he was beaten like
never before. He just came home, parked his vehicle outside his house and waited
inside for his friend to pick him up.
While he waited, he saw three men walking
in the middle of the road toward him. As they got closer, he said they opened
his driver door, pulled him from his Chevrolet Cruz and hit him in the head, face
and body. He was bleeding from his head, face, nose and right leg. Dougherty was
assaulted with brass knuckles, a wooden bat and the three men's fists, police
Dougherty credited "wonderful cooperation from law enforcement"
in arresting the three men. Nanticoke, Hanover Township and Newport Township police
departments and state police at Wyoming and Shickshinny worked together to make
According to the criminal complaint, police learned the three
men were involved in other burglaries they committed with Dougherty's vehicle,
including one that occurred June 26 at 1:30 a.m. at Countryside Market in Hunlock
Creek. State police at Shickshinny investigated and observed the three on video
committing the crime with Dougherty's car.
Just after 3 a.m. on June 26, Newport
Township police found a glass window in an exterior door was broken at the Variety
Stop in Glen Lyon. A video showed the same vehicle was involved.
At 3:45 a.m.
that day, Hanover Township police were dispatched to the Sans Souci Sunoco for
a burglar alarm. When police arrived, they found the front window was smashed.
According to police, the three men entered the business and destroyed the lottery
machine, cash register and shelves. Money and cigarettes also were missing. Owner
Simmy Singh reported $218 was stolen from the cash register; $607 worth of cigarettes
were taken and $3,300 in damage to the building and equipment.
At about 4:15
a.m. on June 26, Hanover Township police responded to Don's Deli on West End Road
where a window was smashed. Owner Don Heness told police that the cash register
and cord for the credit card machine was missing. He said the approximate value
for the stolen cash register and cord for the credit card machine is $121 and
there was $260 in damages to the building and equipment.
video surveillance which shows Dougherty's vehicle at Don's Deli and Sans Souci
Sunoco. The three men burned Doughery's vehicle in the Hunlock Creek area, according
The three men also are charged with breaking into and attempting
to steal Peter Kanjorski Jr.'s vehicle in Nanticoke on June 25.
1 and Aug. 4, members of Nanticoke, Hanover Township and Nanticoke police departments
interviewed Banks, Branningan and Owens, who admitted to their roles in committing
the crimes, police said. The three men declined comment as police led them to
their arraignment on Tuesday.
They were jailed at Luzerne County Correctional
Facility in lieu of $250,000 bail. Whittaker set preliminary hearings for Sept.
23 and 24 in his court and before magisterial district judges in the areas where
the crimes occurred.
men arrested for assault on Nanticoke mayor
Three men are facing charges for the beating and carjacking
of Nanticoke Mayor Joseph Dougherty in June.
click image to enlarge
Brannigan, 20, Daniel Thomas Banks, 24, and Thomas Maxwell Owens, 21, all from
Wilkes-Barre, were arrested Tuesday morning after a joint investigation by state
police at Wyoming, and police in Hanover Township, Nanticoke and Newport Township.
Authorities allege the three men assaulted Dougherty who was sitting inside an
idling Chevrolet Cruze in the 300 block of East Green Street, Nanticoke, on June
Dougherty was assaulted with brass knuckles, police allege.
the three men stole the Chevrolet, state police said the vehicle was used in a
burglary at the Country Side Quick Mart on Main Road in Hunlock Township on June
The vehicle was found torched in a wooded area near Zachery Road and state
Route 239 in Huntington Township on June 28.
Authorities also suspect the
three men burglarized Don's Deli on West End Road in Hanover Township on June
26, and attempted to burglarize a building in Newport Township.
Banks and Owens are scheduled to be arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker
in Nanticoke on a host of felony and misdemeanor assault and theft charges later
Robert Smith of South
Hanover Street reported someone entered his vehicle and stole a DVD/GPS/Backup
Jennifer Olszyk of South Hanover Street reported someone entered
her vehicle and stole a leather briefcase handbag.
Theresa Antolik of Hillcrest
Drive reported someone entered her vehicle and stole loose change.
of Hillcrest Drive reported someone entered two of her vehicles and stole sunglasses.
Joseph Michalek of Mountain View Drive reported someone entered his vehicle and
stole loose change, a backpack and a GPS device.
Cheryl Taskoweak of Hillcrest
Drive reported someone entered her vehicle and stole loose change.
of Front Street reported someone keyed the driver side of her vehicle.
Syudam of State Street was cited for operating an all-terrain vehicle on a roadway,
operating an ATV without a license, operating an ATV without proper registration
and operating a vehicle with a suspended license after he was spotting driving
on Access Road.
John Klimchak reported someone broke the side window of a
dump truck he owns and was parked on East Washington Street.
of East Ridge Street reported someone punctured a hole in two of her tires and
her swimming pool.
man allegedly beats, drags girlfriend down road
Police said a man beat his girlfriend
and dragged her down the middle of East Main Street early Monday morning in Nanticoke,
Daryl Williams, 23, is charged with simple assault and
harassment in connection with the domestic dispute that turned violent around
Investigators said Williams chased after and caught up to live-in
girlfriend, Starneesha Richardson, after she fled their apartment at 220 E. Main
St. to avoid his attack. Williams knocked Richardson to the ground along the 100
block of Main Street and began punching and kicking her, police said.
said he then grabbed her by the feet and started dragging her down the roadway.
According to arrest papers:
Richardson told police the two got in an argument
because she came home at 11 p.m. the night before. Williams then began smashing
and breaking items around the home.
Around 2:25 a.m., police were called to
their apartment for loud noise. The couple arrived at the door.
holding a metal pipe and a broomstick and Richardson was holding a knife. Both
parties, however, denied their dispute ever got physical or that any threats were
The two continued to argue, police said, until Williams took Richardson's
cellphone. Richardson then fled to a nearby convenience store, prompting Williams
to follow. That's when, witnesses say, Williams beat Richardson and began to drag
her down the street around 6:30 a.m.
Richardson suffered numerous scratches
and scrapes, police said.
Williams was arraigned and jailed in the Luzerne
County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.
Gun dealer alleges unfair sentence
A Nanticoke man convicted of conspiring
to illegally ship military equipment to Russia is seeking a hearing to determine
whether his sentence is appropriate.
D&R Sports Center owner Mark Komoroski
recently sent a letter to U.S. District Court Senior Judge Edwin M. Kosik in which
he alleges he was unfairly sentenced to a longer prison term than his co-conspirator
because the wrong federal guidelines were used.
Prosecutors said Komoroski
and Russian national Sergey Korznikov conspired to smuggle equipment including
rifle scopes, firearm magazines and face shields from the United States to Russia
to be sold to unknown people.
Both men pleaded guilty. Kosik sentenced Korznikov
on July 21 to six months in prison and two years of supervised release. However,
Komoroski was sentenced on July 29, 2010, to 32 months - 2.6 years - imprisonment,
two years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.
In a letter to Kosik dated
July 31 and filed in federal court Monday, Komoroski said the main reason for
the disparity was because Korznikov's sentence was determined using federal guidelines
for economic offenses, while Komoroski said his sentence was determined under
guidelines for offenses involving national defense and weapons of mass destruction.
"In reality, my offense was indistinguishable from Korznikov's," Komoroski
wrote. "We conspired to smuggle goods outside of the U.S. without properly
stating the value of such goods to avoid Korznikov having to pay import taxes
To prove his claims, Komoroski is seeking a hearing and a
reopening of records related to the sentencing guidelines.
In his Aug. 5 reply,
Kosik acknowledges receipt of Komoroski's letter, a copy of which was sent to
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Fawcett, who prosecuted the case.
the time of Korznikov's sentencing, (Fawcett) specifically related the reason
for disparity in the sentences. Accordingly, it may be more appropriate for her
to respond to the letter I presume she received," Kosik wrote. "I know
your circumstances have been distressful to you and your wife. Since she is most
innocent, my sincere sympathy is with her."
Kosik concludes, "We
may be addressing this matter again." Kosik's office had no comment on his
Komoroski's attorneys, Frank Nocito and Philip Gelso, also declined
Komoroski's wife Lecia said she visited him in prison Monday at Fort
Dix, N.J., where he has been serving his time since Aug. 19, 2010, and was not
aware of Kosik's letter. She has been working hard to help get her husband's sentence
"It's sad what transpired, and I'm hoping everybody realizes
this is wrong, what they did to Mark," Lecia Komoroski said.
attorney Richard Levitt said he and his law partner Nicholas Kaiser do not represent
Komoroski, and that he thinks Kosik will do what he believes is best.
have no interest in his sentencing one way or another," Levitt said.
Regarding Korznikov's sentencing, he said, "I think the judge was extremely
thoughtful and fair."
man appeals sentence for conspiring to export military items
Mark and Lecia
Komoroski say attorneys failed to challenge calculation of sentencing guidelines.
man who pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to export military equipment to
Russia is questioning why his co-defendant received a much lesser sentence for
his role in the case.
Mark Komoroski and his wife, Lecia, owners of D&R
Sporting Goods, contend he was subjected to a much harsher sentence because his
attorneys failed to challenge an alleged improper calculation of the sentencing
guidelines relating to his crime.
That belief was compounded on Thursday,
when Komoroskis co-defendant, Sergey Korznikov, was sentenced to six months
in prison, compared to the 32-month prison term imposed on Komoroski last July.
Lecia Komoroski said she believes Korznikovs sentence was much less because
his base offense level a number utilized in federal cases that dictates
the number of months of imprisonment was properly calculated, whereas her
husbands was not.
He was completely misled in the courtroom,
Lecia Komoroski said of her husband. It comes down to the fact they were
both charged with one count of conspiracy. They have to start at the same base
But Korznikovs attorney,
Nicolas Kaiser of New York City, said the disparity stemmed from a difference
in the charges to which the two men pleaded guilty.
Mark Komoroski and Korznikov,
a Russian national, were charged in January 2008 with violating the Arms Export
Control Act for trying to smuggle military equipment, including rifle scopes,
firearm magazines and face shields, into Russia.
Komoroski pleaded guilty
in August 2009 to five counts of conspiracy and was sentenced in July 2010. The
dispute in his sentence centers on whether any of the items involved are on a
list that requires the seller to have a special license from the U.S. Department
of State, which Komoroski did not possess.
Komoroski maintains the government
wrongly concluded that 21 items shipped qualified for inclusion on that list
a determination that raised the sentencing guideline range in his case from eight
to 14 months to 46 to 57 months in prison, he says.
In a motion seeking to
vacate his sentence, Komoroski claims his attorneys, Frank Nocito and Philip Gelso,
wrongly advised him that it did not matter if the items were on the list. The
motion, which Komoroski and his wife wrote and filed themselves, claims the attorneys
never filed a challenge to the governments position, leading to the imposition
of a disproportionate sentence.
Contacted Monday, Nocito said he and Gelso
were precluded from commenting on Komoroskis claims due to attorney client
Lecia Komoroski said she and Mark did not realize he had been subjected
to the wrong sentencing standard until after he began serving his sentence in
Komoroski said she began reviewing
the law based on a gut feeling that something was amiss. Thats
when she discovered his sentence had been based on a guideline relating to offenses
involving national defense and weapons of mass destruction.
said the guideline range for that offense is much lower if the weapons involved
were non-fully automatic small arms, such as rifles and handguns. In her husbands
case, he had shipped rifle scopes, firearm magazines and face shields, thus he
should have qualified for the lesser sentencing range.
They had Mark
and I believing (the items) were on the State Department list, when in fact they
are not, she said. If our attorneys had ever shown that to us, Mark
would never have pleaded guilty to what he pleaded to.
attorney, Kaiser, said he could not comment on Komoroskis ineffective counsel
claim against Nocito and Gelso. He said he reviewed Komoroskis motion to
vacate his sentence and does not believe he will prevail, however.
dont think they stand much of a chance given the way the courts faithfully
addressed Mr. Komoroskis sentencing guideline and faithfully adhered to
established precedent to determine Mr. Komoroskis sentence, Kaiser
As for the disparity in Komoroskis and Korznikovs sentence,
Kaiser said Komoroski and Korznikov pleaded guilty to conspiracy. The key difference
is Korznikov admitted he engaged in the conspiracy solely to avoid paying Russian
tariffs on the equipment, whereas Komoroskis plea involved smuggling the
equipment into Russia, he said.
Lecia Komoroski insists her husband did not
know he needed a State Department license to ship the equipment in question. She
says Mark was simply trying to build up the family business and got involved with
something he did not fully understand.
We are just hard-working, middle-class
Americans who were trying keep a business going and do right thing, she
Store still open
Lecia Komoroski has continued to operate D&R
Sporting Goods since Marks arrest. The store had to forfeit its license
to sell firearms, but continues to sell other types of sporting goods.
said she realizes its possible Mark, who is scheduled for release in December
2012, will serve his entire sentence before the issue is resolved. They have vowed
to continue to fight regardless.
Im very passionate about this
because I know its wrong, she said. I dont care if it
goes on for 10 years, we will continue to fight this.
Russian gets six months for smuggling military equipment
A Russian national
who pleaded guilty to participating in a military equipment export smuggling operation
was sentenced Thursday in federal court to six months in prison.
42, of Moscow, will begin his sentence on Aug. 11 at a yet to be determined location.
Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik also ordered Korznikov to serve two years
of supervised release upon the completion of his sentence.
Korznikov and co-defendant
Mark Komoroski, owner of D& R Sporting Goods in Nanticoke, were charged in
January 2010 with conspiring to smuggle the equipment that included rifle scopes,
ammunition magazines and face shields to Russia from the United States.
was connected to Moscow-based Tactica Ltd. that sells rifle optics, binoculars,
boots, and other hunting and paramilitary equipment.
Federal authorities believed
he had illegally exported hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment over a
several-year period, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 2006.
Komoroski received a 32-month sentence in July 2010, was ordered to pay a $10,000
fine and serve two years of supervised release.
The investigation was handled
by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations unit; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Department of Commerce;
Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and the Pennsylvania State Police.
City police reported the following incidents:
Nicholas Kopiak of West Union
Street reported to police that someone stole his red 20-inch lawn mower from his
back porch Monday.
Brandon Switzer of East Union Street was cited with
trespassing Monday after he was observed sitting in his vehicle that was parked
in the Greater Nanticoke Area High School parking lot, violating the posted no
trespassing sign, police said.
Cereal dispute leads to arrest for Nanticoke man, woman
Police charge Jason Slater and Laura Rasmus with harassment, simple assault.
city couple was charged this weekend after an argument that began over spilled
City police said Jason Slater , 27, and Laura Rasmus, 23, both of
East Church Street, were charged with harassment and simple assault after police
responded to their home late Saturday for the report of an assault.
and Rasmus were arraigned on the charges Sunday morning and were released on their
A preliminary hearing for the duo has tentatively been scheduled
for July 26 before District Judge Donald Whittaker.
According to court papers,
at around 11:45 p.m. Sunday police were called to the East Church Street home
for the report of a man who was assaulted.
Slater told police he was assaulted
by his girlfriend, Rasmus, and that he had been laying on the couch with a bowl
While laying on the couch, Slater said, he began to fall asleep
and spilled a little cereal on the floor.
Rasmus, Slater said, told him she
hated when he did that and began to punch, slap and kick Slater.
Slater said he tried to get Rasmus to stop hitting him, but she grabbed a decorative
cross from the wall and began to strike Slater with it.
Slater said he began
to cry and left the home.
Police later spoke with Rasmus, who said she told
Slater to stop dozing off on the couch repeatedly and then tried to kick Slater
out of the house.
Rasmus said Slater is the one who grabbed the cross of the
wall, and hit her on the back with it.
police reported the following incidents:
Police said Howard Stritzinger of Prince Street was taken into custody and cited
with public drunkenness after police said they saw him sleeping on a bench in
front of the Oplinger Towers on East Main Street on Monday.
Helen Allabaugh of Hanover Township reported to police that she was at a function
at the Quoit Club in Nanticoke on Monday when someone entered her unlocked car
and took a change purse and plastic bag, both containing cash.
Nanticoke men arrested on drug trafficking charges
By Denise Allabaugh - Citizens Voice
men face drug trafficking charges for distributing hundreds of grams of heroin
and crack cocaine, the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania announced today.
Marcus Holder, 24, and Michael F. Bruce, 24,
conspired to distribute more than 400 grams of heroin and more than 112 grams
of crack cocaine in Luzerne County from 2009 to April 2011, according to U.S.
Attorney Peter J. Smith. Holder and Bruce also allegedly possessed five firearms
in relation to drug trafficking and distributing controlled substances on numerous
If convicted of all charges, Holder and Bruce face a maximum sentence
of 40 years imprisonment.
The case was investigated by special agents of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers from Nanticoke, Plains Township and
Wilkes-Barre. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gurganus is prosecuting the case.
Heather Lynn Tolodzieski,
21, of Apollo Circle, Nanticoke, was sentenced Friday on three separate counts
of retail theft by Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley.
Tolodzieski pleaded no contest to one charge and guilty
to the remaining two charges in May.
According to court
papers, on Jan. 1, 2010, police said Tolodzieski entered Kohls Department
Store in Wilkes-Barre Township and tried to leave the store with clothing items.
On June 10, 2010, police said, Tolodzieski entered the
Weis Market in Nanticoke and again tried to leave the store with several items.
On Dec. 14, 2010, police said, Tolodzieski entered Redners
Market in Edwardsville and attempted to remove items including sponges, a can
of air freshener, a box of garbage bags and maxi pads.
Out on bail on theft charges, man jailed for allegedly
on bail on charges he conspired to steal copper and brass fixtures from a building
at Moon Lake Park, Jonathan Kemmerer Jr. was arrested early Wednesday morning
for allegedly robbing a store.
Kemmerer, 27, of East Broad Street, Nanticoke,
was arraigned in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on two counts of robbery and a single
count of theft. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for
lack of $20,000 bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
Kemmerer entered the Cocoa Hut Convenient Mart on East Main Street around 9:30
p.m. Tuesday and tried to buy items with an access card that had insufficient
funds. He left the store after he was refused the sale.
Police said in the
complaint Kemmerer entered the store a second time with his hand under his shirt,
telling the clerk, Give me the money. I have a gun.
identified as the suspect when police reviewed video surveillance, according to
Police found Kemmerer at his house just before 1 a.m.
allegedly admitted to robbing the store, telling police he discarded a hat and
T-shirt when he ran away from the business. He said he used the money he took
to buy cocaine and gave his mother $20, the complaint says.
In an unrelated
case, according to court records, state police at Wyoming charged Kemmerer and
Donald Keith Violini, 38, of Hunlock Township, with sneaking into the pool house
at Moon Lake Park and stealing copper wire and brass fittings in December.
Violini is further charged with stealing items from the parks pool house
State police allege the two men received $209 from a scrap yard
on Dec. 16, and Violini received $89 from a scrap yard on Jan. 19, according to
Kemmerer and Violini are facing theft-related charges in county
court for allegedly stealing metal from Moon Lake. Kemmerer is further facing
charges in county court for stealing copper from a house on East Broad Street,
Nanticoke, on Jan. 19, court records say.
A preliminary hearing on the latest
charges against Kemmerer is scheduled on July 5 before District Judge Donald Whittaker
stolen from Nanticoke mayor found torched in Sweet Valley
State police at Shickshinny recovered a burned out vehicle that may be linked
to the car stolen from Nanticoke Mayor Joseph Dougherty Saturday night.
vehicle was found torched near Zachary Road at about 8:30 p.m. Monday. It has
since been seized by state police.
Dougherty was assaulted by three males
in their late teens or early 20s while he sat inside a Chevrolet Cruze, which
is owned by his employer, Colors Inc.
State police suspect the vehicle was
used in a burglary at Sorber's Stop and Go Quick Mart on Main Road in Hunlock
Township at about 1:33 a.m. Sunday.
Two males smashed the glass front door
at the quick mart while the third male waited outside, state police said.
Cigarettes, lottery tickets and an empty cash register was stolen from the store.
The vehicle was last seen traveling south on Main Road after the burglary, state
Authorities are also investigating whether the three men are
responsible for burglaries at the Sunoco Service Station on the Sans Souci Parkway,
Hanover Township, and Don's Deli on West End Road, also in Hanover Township, Saturday
mayor is attacked
Joe Dougherty is beaten Saturday in a crime that might be
linked to others.
As the citys
mayor, Joe Dougherty might have upset some people, but not to the point where
they would beat him and steal his car.
The part-time mayor was the victim
of a vicious attack Saturday night near his house on East Green Street that left
him with a broken nose, staples in his head and bruises over his body.
dont think it was anybody from town, to be completely honest with you,
he said Sunday.
Three white males in their late teens or early 20s assaulted
him and drove off with a white, four-door 2011 Chevrolet Cruze that has the number
192 in black on the drivers side quarter panel. Police are investigating
whether the carjacking and robbery is connected to the smash-and-dash burglaries
of stores in Hanover, Newport and Union townships.
Dougherty, 44, a full-time,
automotive paint salesman for Colours Inc., said he was sitting in the car provided
by the company doing paperwork around 11:15 p.m. and waiting for a friend to come
by so that they could go out. The headlights were on, the motor running and the
interior dome light was on as well. He saw three males pass by and he didnt
give them a second thought.
Next thing you know Im drug out of
my car and Im thumped, he said.
It was so quick. They pulled
me out of the car. My keys were still in the ignition. I was listening to the
radio. I saw something. It looked like a club.
Dougherty said his attackers
didnt say anything and they didnt take his wallet.
calling Luzerne County 911 and handing his phone to his friend who had arrived
Nanticoke Police Detective Capt. William Shultz corrected Dougherty,
saying the mayor did call 911, but at one point lost consciousness.
The friend picked up the phone, said Shultz.
Dougherty was taken to Geisinger
Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, where he was treated.
mayor struggled to find an answer for the attack.
Ive lived in
this neighborhood all my life, he said, adding he plans to stay put.
Shultz, however, offered an explanation, calling it a crime of opportunity.
Dougherty did not know his attackers and they might not have known him, said Shultz.
The detective said a neighbor reported seeing Dougherty sitting inside the car
with the headlights on.
He didnt think anything of it, Shultz
said of the neighbor. The neighbor also recalled hearing the car speed off.
The car was last seen traveling north on South Chestnut Street.
A car matching
that description was involved in a burglary around 1:30 a.m. at Sorbers
Stop & Go Country Side Quick Mark gas station on Main Road in Union Township,
according to state police at Shickshinny.
A glass door was smashed and two
white males went inside, state police said. A third white male waited outside
the store. Cigarettes, lottery tickets and an empty cash register were taken,
state police state.
The three males drove away, heading south on Main Road
toward Hunlock Township and U.S. Route 11, state police said.
smashed in burglaries at Dons Deli on West End Road and the Sunoco Service
station on the Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Township police said.
no descriptions of the suspects in either of those break-ins.
with information about the carjacking and robbery is asked to contact Nanticoke
police at 570-735-2200.
State police at Shickshinny asked that anyone with
information about the break-in at Sorbers Stop & Go contact them at
mayor carjacked, beaten
The mayor of Nanticoke was bludgeoned with
a club late Saturday night when three men attacked him outside of his home and
stole his car.
Recovering with family Sunday afternoon, Joe Dougherty said
they "ripped me out of my car and hit me with a billy club, but I'm still
walking around today."
Nanticoke police Capt. William Shultz declined
to identified the victim, but confirmed police are looking for three men in their
late teens or early 20s who are suspected of stealing a vehicle from the 300 block
of East Green Street at about 11 p.m. Saturday. He is looking into a possible
connection with several burglaries and attempted burglaries in the area that night.
He said it did not appear the victim was targeted, and this was a "crime
of opportunity." The vehicle is a white four-door 2011 Chevrolet Cruze with
"192" painted in black on the driver's side. It was last seen traveling
north on South Chestnut Street.
Dougherty said he was sitting in the vehicle,
doing paperwork, waiting for friends to pick him up, when the men attacked him.
Despite heavy blood loss and some loss of consciousness, he called 911 for help.
Dougherty was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and later released.
He received staples in his head, stitches in his forehead, nose and leg and his
nose was broken.
Councilman Brent Makarczyk rents to Dougherty and lives in
the same building as the mayor. He heard a car speed away Saturday night and walked
outside to find Dougherty and a friend, who was on the phone.
the time I got to the car, he collapsed," Makarczyk said. That's when he
noticed the blood. "Joe, he's a fantastic human being, just a great guy.
I don't know what motivated this kind of attack, but there must be something wrong
with these guys," he said. "... When you have three guys drag a guy
out of a car and beat him without saying a word to each other, they're either
psychic or they planned this."
Their neighborhood is generally peaceful,
Makarczyk said, and he and his wife will sit on the porch until late at night
in the summer. They rarely see anyone besides neighbors or teenagers walking around.
However, he sees the demographics of the area changing and an increase in drug
activity and knows that is taking a toll.
"With the money issue, it seems
like the police department is doing the best they can but they are spread thin,"
The 44-year-old mayor has been a resident of Nanticoke his entire
life, and said nothing of this sort has happened to him before, but the region
is changing and violent incidents are becoming more frequent. Dougherty cautioned
people to be vigilant in their neighborhoods and keep an eye on their surroundings.
"People voted me into office because they wanted someone to stand tall and
I do, even if I get knocked down. I get back up," he said.
there could be a connection to an attempted burglary at the Variety Stop, 15 E.
Main St., Glen Lyon. Plains Township police are also investigating several overnight
burglaries, but officers were unable to provide additional details Sunday afternoon.
State police at Shickshinny are investigating a burglary at the Sorber's Stop
and Go Country Side Quick Mart in Union Township, near Hunlock Creek, that involved
a white four-door Chevrolet Cruze that was carjacked earlier from Nanticoke, according
to state police.
Three men about 18 to 25 years old, smashed the glass front
door and entered the store at about 1:33 a.m. Two of the men went inside, stole
cigarettes, lottery tickets and an empty cash register, and then all three fled
in the Chevrolet, headed south.
Hanover Township police are also investigating
several overnight burglaries, at 3:45 a.m. at the Sunoco Service Station on the
Sans Souci Highway and at 4:15 a.m. at Don's Deli on West End Road. Both stores
were entered after front windows were broken. Officers were unable to provide
additional details Sunday afternoon.
Anyone with information on the
carjacking is asked to call Nanticoke City police at 570-735-2200. Anyone with
information on the Union Township burglary is asked to call state police at Shickshinny
with green thumb on the run
Hanover Township and Nanticoke police are searching for
a wanted fugitive accused of stealing various items from Dundee Gardens on the
San Souci Parkway and who also is also facing prison time for unrelated charges
in county court.
Authorities are looking for Michael A. Laury, 32, of 244
E. Main St., Apt. A, in Nanticoke. He is facing felony theft charges in Hanover
Township, along with receiving stolen property and drug charges in Nanticoke after
the stolen goods and drugs were found in his home during a search, police said.
Laury has been on the run since he failed to report to prison on May 23 to begin
serving a one to two year prison sentence on previous drug and theft charges,
According to arrest papers filed by Hanover Township and Nanticoke
Laury and his girlfriend subleased a room of their apartment to two
women. After numerous odd garden items appeared in the home, one of the women,
Cassandra Friese became suspicious. The items included a fountain, garden gnomes,
an outdoor fireplace, a birdbath, bronze statues, concrete figurines and plants.
Friese then questioned Laury, who admitted the items were taken from Dundee Gardens.
Friese then went to the business to report the theft.
Nanticoke police served
a search warrant at the property on May 20 and located the stolen items, worth
more than $2,000.
Anyone with information on Laury's whereabouts is asked
to call 911, Hanover Township police at 570-825-1250, or Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200.
A man was arraigned Thursday night on charges he received
items that were stolen during a home burglary
Joshua Charles Frame, 29, of
East Main Street, Nanticoke, was charged with receiving stolen property and criminal
conspiracy. He was arraigned by District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston and released
on $7,500 unsecured bail.
State police at Wyoming allege Frame accepted a
television and a Direct TV box that were stolen from a Lake Township house in
September, according to the criminal complaint.
State police recovered the
items inside residence of Frames former girlfriend on East Main Street.
A man was
arraigned Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges he assaulted a woman
inside her residence.
Halliday, 36, of West Ridge Street, Nanticoke, was charged with three counts of
criminal mischief, and one count each of burglary, criminal trespass, false imprisonment,
harassment, defiant trespass and possession of a controlled substance. He was
jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $2,000 bail.6/23/2011
Police allege Halliday opened a door and entered the womans residence in
the 300 block of West Main Street on Tuesday night. Halliday allegedly struck
the woman and refused to let her leave, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said in the complaint Halliday had 19 prescription tablets in his pockets.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on June 28 before District Judge Donald Whittaker
police reported the following:
Edward Wiernusz, of South Hanover Street, reported a patio chair and an ottoman
were stolen from his patio.
Eclipse Fleet Service, of West Grand Street,
reported two windows were smashed at its building.
of West Noble Street, reported someone flattened a tire on his vehicle.
Debbie Rentko, of West Union Street, reported jewelry and electronics were stolen
during a burglary at her residence.
Police said they cited Kara Young
, of East Grand Street, with public drunkenness when she was allegedly found intoxicated
and vomiting in an alley near East Washington Street. Police said Young was wanted
on unrelated summary warrants.
Donald Sullivan, of West Main Street,
reported someone keyed his vehicle.
Police arrested Steven Tagnani,
21, of East Broad Street, on charges he assaulted his stepbrother and stole a
vehicle on Friday.
Tagnani was charged with robbery of a vehicle, unauthorized
use of a vehicle, simple assault and harassment. He was jailed at the Luzerne
County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.
Police allege Tagnani
assaulted Ronald Sokoloski and stole Sokoloskis vehicle, according to the
Police recovered the vehicle near Tagnanis residence.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on June 28 before District Judge Donald Whittaker
steroid charge for former Nanticoke man
former Nanticoke man who pleaded guilty in 2008 to distributing anabolic steroids
has been charged a second time with selling the performance enhancing drugs.
Peter Sepling and John Nikoloff, no address listed, were indicted last week by
a federal grand jury on charges of distributing a controlled substance and several
According to the indictment, Sepling and Nikoloff sold and
distributed several types of anabolic steroids, as well as the gamma butyrolactone
(GBL), a chemical that is utilized as a recreational drug, in Luzerne County from
April 21 till April 26.
Sepling was among nine people who were charged by
federal authorities in 2007 with operating a drug ring that distributed steroids
and several types of club drugs in Luzerne and other counties.
He was sentenced in April 2008 to 2 years in prison on that case. He was released
from prison in February 2010, according to the federal department of corrections.
The latest indictment says Sepling and Nikoloff smuggled the drugs into the United
States from China.The indictment does not provide any further details of the operation.
City police reported the following incidents
John Storm of River Street reported
someone stole a 30 pack of Coors Light and a bottle of vodka from a cooler on
Cohen Miller, of Beaumont Street, Warrior Run, reported someone
threw a large rock through the windshield of his vehicle.
Brenda Klos of Apollo
Circle reported someone put sugar in her gas tank.
Jeffrey Montgomery of East
Main Street, Glen Lyon, reported someone smashed the passenger rear window of
his vehicle on Front Street
Tanya Belcher, of West South Street, reported
someone threw a rock at her window.
Alex Oko, of East Church Street, reported
someone keyed both sides and the hood of his vehicle.
Scott Weber of West
Church Street reported someone stole his sliver and black bike.
of South Hanover Street reported someone smashed out the driver's side of window
of his vehicle.
John Pipan of Ridgeview reported someone broke the door and
window of a property he owns on South Prospect Street in Nanticoke.
Applybey, of West Green Street, reported someone attempted to steal the license
plate off her vehicle.
Dorothy Pugh of Lawrence Street reported someone threw
three lawn chairs into her in-ground pool.
Karen Hazleton reported someone
spray-painted graffiti on the sidewalk and front door steps of a property she
owns on Front Street.
man was arraigned Tuesday on a charge he sent several text messages to a woman
in violation of a protection from abuse order
Scott Alfonso, 18, of Enterprise
Street, Nanticoke, was charged with stalking and violating a PFA. He was arraigned
by District Judge Donald Whittaker and released without bail.
Alfonso sent five text messages to a woman who obtained a PFA against him in February,
according to the criminal complaint.
A preliminary hearing on the stalking
charge is scheduled on June 21. A hearing on the alleged PFA violation is scheduled
on June 23 in county court.
A man wanted for stealing metal from
a railroad line and stealing a television from a store was allegedly captured
with heroin and syringes Tuesday night, police said.
Police apprehended Michael
Gordon Briggs, 25, last known address as South Hanover Street, Nanticoke, at about
10:55 p.m. after receiving information he was at an apartment on South Market
Police allege Briggs was in possession of heroin stamped pain
killer and several syringes. He struggled with an officer when he was arrested,
Briggs was wanted by police on charges he stole a television
from Weis Market in Nanticoke on Sept. 7.
Canadian Pacific police charged
Briggs, along with Connie Marie Mihalichko, 20, and Luke Galazin, 23, both of
Ashley, of stealing metal from a railroad line near Breaker Road in Hanover Township
on April 1.
Briggs was arraigned in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on five counts
of possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of resisting arrest, and one count
each of criminal conspiracy, defiant trespass, theft, escape, criminal attempt
to escape, possession of a controlled substance and retail theft. He was jailed
at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $16,000 bail.
is scheduled for preliminary hearings on charges filed by Nanticoke police and
Canadian Pacific police on May 31 before district judges Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke
and Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township.
Mihalichko and Galazin are scheduled
for preliminary hearings on June 7 before Halesey.
A Wilkes-Barre man was charged with assault and harassment
for pulling off the shirt and bra of his pregnant girlfriend after he dumped a
can of soda over her head in Nanticoke.
police filed the charges against Joshua S. Henrie, 21, of Scott Street following
the April 13 incident at the rear of a residence in the 300 block of East Washington
Street, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with Magisterial District
Justice Donald Whittaker of Nanticoke.
They said the victim was inside a car
when Henrie reached through the window to remove her clothes, the affidavit said.
in Nanticoke drive-by shooting
police recovered six shell casings after receiving reports that shots were fired
from a vehicle Thursday night.
Witnesses said the passenger in a dark, small
to mid-sized vehicle fired five shots from a small-caliber weapon at 11:50 p.m.
in the area of Coal Street and two more shots at Apollo Circle, police said.
While no person, vehicle or building was hit by what police called a reckless
act, they ask anyone who can help locate the shooter to call them at 570-735-2200.
police reported the following:
Len Stefaniak, of West Green Street, reported someone tried to enter his residence
through a basement door.
Police cited Kenneth Sliker, of Apollo Circle,
with public drunkenness after investigating a disturbance in the Apollo Circle
Lillian Garcia, of East Washington Street, reported
someone forced open the front door to her residence, causing damage.
John Heck, of Coal Street, reported a 9 mm handgun and a loaded magazine were
stolen from his residence.
Frank Castrignano reported copper pipe was
stolen from a house he owns on East Ridge Street.
Donna Littzi, of
East Green Street, reported someone slashed a tire on her vehicle.
May Burger reported a window was smashed on a house she owns on East Ridge Street.
Steven Bruns, of West Green Street, reported someone vandalized his vehicle.
Jamie Coen, of West South Street, reported someone damaged a wheel on her
Jill Jeffries, of River Street, reported a two-cycle mini
Harley-Davidson and a weed trimmer were stolen from her shed.
Ottensman, of River Street, reported a childs gas-powered quad was stolen
from his shed.
John Storm, of River Street, reported a pad lock was
cut on a storage trailer. No items were stolen.
Police charged William
James Cupp, 53, last known address as West Green Street, with violating a protection
from abuse order on April 28, when Loretta Fenner claimed he slapped her on West
Police charged Desalegn Y. Tefera, 30, of Wilkes-Barre,
with violating a protection from abuse order on April 29, when Rahel Alemu claimed
he contacted her at Luzerne County Community College.
William Michael Conway, 25, of Nanticoke, with violating a protection from abuse
order on May 1, when he allegedly confronted his ex-girlfriend, Erin Shea, while
she was shopping at Weis Markets.
Father pulls knife on 14-year-old daughter
A Nanticoke father, Brian Halaburda, was charged with attempted
assault when he pulled a knife on his 14-year-old daughter during a domestic dispute
on Tuesday night at their home on Hanover Street, city police said in a probable
The fight started when Halaburda and his wife asked their
daughter where she got money to buy new clothes, the affidavit said.
probe robbery, burglary incidents
Turkey Hill Minit Market at 460 W. Main St. was robbed Tuesday just after 4 p.m.
and the suspect fled on foot, police said.
According to police, a white male
in his late teens, about 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds and wearing
a navy blue hooded jacked, faded blue jeans and a blue handkerchief across his
face entered the store and demanded the clerk open the cash register and give
him all the money. The suspect fled with a small amount of cash.
that night, Nanticoke police investigated a house burglary in the 200 block of
Enterprise Street. The victims said they left their home at about 7:30 and returned
home at about 11 p.m. to find their garage door kicked in.
According to police,
the suspect or suspects entered the house through an inside garage door and stole
jewelry, watches, weapons and personal checks.
with any information about the crimes is asked to call Nanticoke police at 735-2200,
check on report of man banging on doors; arrest fugitive
A woman at the bar apparently had no interest in
the man from Nanticoke -- but police did.4/14/2011
James Michael Hughes told township
police he was with a woman at Mugs and Jugs Bar on Oxford Street early Wednesday
morning, according to the criminal complaint, when the woman left and did not
return. Hughes, 22, of East State Street, said he walked to an apartment complex
looking for friends and a place to stay early Wednesday morning.
police encountered Hughes while investigating a report of a suspicious man banging
on doors at Marion Terrace Apartments on Mark Drive around 2:30 a.m.
to the latest criminal complaint:
Police said the banging led to the capture
of fugitive Hughes, who was wanted by the Luzerne County sheriffs and adult probation
departments for missing a court hearing and violating probation.
capture, police said, Hughes used another name to hide his true identity.
He was allegedly found in possession of a pill that he did not have a prescription
Hughes was arraigned in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges of giving
false identification to law enforcement, disorderly conduct and possession of
a controlled substance. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility
for lack of $10,000 bail.
According to court records, Hughes was sentenced
Feb. 7 to 36 months probation with the first six months on house arrest on charges
of simple assault and possession of a controlled substance. Those charges involved
allegations that Hughes assaulted two township police officers and a paramedic
on Oct. 23, 2009, and was in possession of heroin during a traffic stop in Wilkes-Barre
on May 7, 2010.
In an unrelated case, Hughes was wanted by the county Sheriffs
Department on a warrant accusing him of skipping a preliminary hearing on March
29 on felony assault charges, according to arrest and court records.
hearing is scheduled on April 19 before District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover
man crashes truck into moving train
Amanda Christman - Citizens'
A Nanticoke man drove his pickup truck into a moving train in Hazle
Village this morning, escaping with only a neck injury but snarling morning traffic
on state Route 309.
State police at Hazleton said Robert Pashinski, 51, was
northbound when he slammed into the moving freight train at about 9:20 a.m.
There is no gate at the crossing and Pashinski told police he didn't hear the
train or see flashing warning lights until it was too late.
The accident happened
in Hazle Township on tracks that traverse the four-lane highway between the Pennsylvania
Driver License Center and the intersection with state Route 424, just south of
the Hazleton city line.
The train was pulling multiple freight cars labeled
"Norfolk Southern Railroad" and was heading west on the tracks when
Pashinski drove into it, police said.
Route 309 was blocked to motorists south
of Route 424 and north of the railroad tracks as emergency workers cleaned up
the scene and a tow truck loaded Pashinski's Dodge Ram pickup onto a flatbed around
The train remained stopped on the tracks, blocking Route 309 until
police gave the conductor the authorization to roll away shortly after 10 a.m.
Pashinski, who was hauling a wrecked Toyota Corolla and a motorcycle to a Hazleton
area junkyard with his pickup truck, sustained minor injuries, police said.
Police said they will cite him for various motor vehicle violations at district
court in Hazle Township.
The pickup truck sustained front end damage and the
train was not damaged.
Hazleton Fire Department, Hazle Township Fire and Rescue,
Hazleton police and McAdoo Ambulance responded.
City police reported the following incidents Tuesday:
Judith Kotch told police someone forced entry into her West Grand Street home
and stole a 47-inch Zenith flat-screen plasma television.
> Michelle Cardinal
of Loomis Street said someone entered her house and stole a brown leather Raiders
wallet and its contents.
> Someone broke into the Pinnacle Roofing warehouse
and stole 20 sheets of 3-inch by 8-inch copper flashing.
> Someone stole
75 feet of green garden hose from the side of Harry Worke's Beaumont Street, Warrior
> William Voyton of West Grand Street reported someone spray-painted
a silver line across the top of the rear door of his vehicle.
Miller of Hill Street and Adam Zwolinski of West Church Street reported having
the windshields of their vehicles shot with BB guns. Thomas Powell of Lee Mine
Street said his rear passenger-side door window was shot with a BB gun.
Ron Lamarca said someone struck the fence post at the rear of his Pine Street
men are charged with violating protection from abuse orders in two separate incidents.
Wisneski, 22, of Nanticoke, was arrested at 2:37 p.m. Tuesday on a warrant after
a Hanover Township officer saw him riding a bike in the area of the Sans Souci
William James Cupp, 53, formerly of West Green Street, was arrested
by Nanticoke police Saturday morning after allegedly harassing his ex-girlfriend
by saying, "How nice, look at the love birds" when he saw her walking
with her new boyfriend and phoning her later. Cupp was not supposed to have any
contact with his ex-girlfriend.
A man accused of ramming his vehicle into
a car driven by a former girlfriend waived his right to a preliminary hearing
Tuesday before District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Todd Price, 40, of Buttonwood Avenue, Wilkes-Barre, waived charges of stalking
and accidents involving damage to attended vehicle to Luzerne County Court.
Nanticoke police withdrew charges of reckless endangerment,
simple assault and five traffic violations against Price.
allege Angela Espinosa reported on Feb. 3 that her vehicle was struck by a Ford
Escape, driven by Price, on West Washington Street. She followed Price, who she
claimed made a motion with his hand across his throat, according to a police news
Bath salts tied to break-in
Times Leader Staff
man who allegedly told police he was high on bath salts was charged with burglary
after authorities said they found him inside of a classroom building at Luzerne
County Community College early Monday morning.
Matthew J. Furr, 32, of Middleburg,
was charged with burglary and criminal trespass.
He was jailed at the county
prison for lack of $10,000 bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
A security guard at the college noticed an open door at Building 4, which is the
science building, around 1:30 a.m.
Police searched the building and allegedly
found Furr sleeping in a corner of room 436.
Furr told police he hopped on
a freight train in Sunbury to Wilkes-Barre two days ago and found himself wandering
around the area.
He consumed bath salts and started feeling chest pains, the
Furr said he walked on Kosciuszko Street looking for help
and found himself lying in the roadway.
He got up and ended up on campus,
claiming he found an open door to a building.
Furr said he entered the building
looking for help, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled
on April 19 before District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Nanticoke woman was sentenced Monday to four years probation on several charges
of indecent exposure in which police say she exposed herself to children and neighbors.
Kathleen Levandowski, 43, of Apollo Circle, was sentenced on three counts of indecent
exposure, two counts of driving under the influence and one count of harassment
by Luzerne County Senior Judge Joseph Augello.
Augello also ordered Levandowski
to serve seven days on house arrest with an electronic monitor and to undergo
mental-health and drug-and-alcohol evaluations. She pleaded guilty to the charges
According to court records, on April 19, 2010, Levandowski exposed
her genitals while on the hood of a neighbors vehicle outside her home,
and performed obscene acts in the yard and when officers arrived.
On May 22,
two different neighbors reported Levandowski flashed her breasts at children playing
in a nearby playground and to holding a bouquet of daisies while nude outside
man acquitted of rape
Daniel Drury Sr. testified false allegation he assaulted
girl was result of charge he filed.
After nearly seven hours of deliberations, a Luzerne
County jury acquitted a Nanticoke man of raping an 11-year-old girl in 2002.
The jury of 11 men and one woman found Daniel Drury Sr., not guilty of five related
charges, including rape of a child.
Im not guilty, Drury,
46, said while leaving the Bernard C. Brominski courthouse building Wednesday
evening. Its all because of allegations
that someone has to go
through this because of a bad divorce. Its a shame
attorney, Thomas Cometa, said he is happy the jury listened to evidence and gave
the case great thought before delivering its verdict of not guilty on charges
of rape of a person under 13 years old, aggravated indecent assault, incest, indecent
assault and corruption of minors.
Prosecutors alleged Drury raped the girl
shortly after her 11th birthday in 2002. The now 19-year-old woman did not report
the incident until 2008 when she began having vivid nightmares, she testified
The woman cried while the verdict was read Wednesday evening, while
members of Drurys family hugged and gave Drury the thumbs-up.
said the delay in reporting the incident could be one factor the jury weighed
in its verdict.
Luzerne County Senior Judge Joseph Augello, who presided over
the trial, said Drury will be released from the county prison pending any detainers.
Drury testified Tuesday he believed the alleged rape story was fabricated against
him in retaliation for filing harassment charges against his ex-wife.
that in 2008 he filed harassment charges against his ex-wife, Gail, and that at
a hearing before a district judge both were found not guilty of harassment.
He said he had a drinking problem at the time, and rather than "getting drunk
and doing something stupid," he had been planning for some time to move to
Florida and decided to follow through with his plans.
He said he moved to
Florida in late 2008, not because he wanted to flee Nanticoke to avoid getting
arrested, but because he wanted to start a new life away from his ex-wife and
his drinking problem.
He said he had no idea charges were being filed against
him. He said he knew Luzerne County Children and Youth Services had conducted
an investigation on him, but he added that he thought that investigation was closed.
Drury also said he did speak with Nanticoke police about the alleged incident,
but the police never told him they were filing charges against him and never told
him not to leave Nanticoke.
Nanticoke police, Drury said, never said they
didnt believe him when he denied the allegations, and said they would call
him if they needed him.
third person has been charged in connection with a theft from Pennsylvania American
Police Blotter - Times Leader
police said Jodelle Lamoreaux, 41, of West Field Street, Nanticoke, was arraigned
on Thursday before District Judge Michael Dotzel, Wilkes-Barre Township.
along with Joshua G. Hallas, 28, of Ridge Street, Nanticoke, and Kristin M. Smith,
38, of Loomis Street, Glen Lyon, Newport Township, are accused of stealing a steel
cutting blade from the water company on South Main Street on Tuesday afternoon.
Hallas and Smith, who were stopped by a water company employee, were charged with
conspiracy to commit theft, theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespass. An
arrest warrant had been issued for Lamoreaux, who fled before police arrived,
Lamoreaux was released on her own recognizance. Her preliminary
hearing is scheduled for April 4 before District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover
Hallas and Smith are free on $10,000 unsecured bail. They have a
preliminary hearing before Halesey at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Plymouth man charged with sex abuse of girls
By Bob Kalinowski Citizens' Voice
man is facing a slew of child sex charges for sexually abusing two young girls
at homes in Nanticoke and Plymouth between 2002 and 2005, police said today.
Robert Caravella is accused of preying on and violating the girls at his former
home on North Chestnut Street in Nanticoke and his current home on Gould Street
The girls, now 15 and 10, recently described the horrors of the
alleged abuse to investigators, arrest papers say.
Caravella made the girls
view pornographic magazines and then forcibly subjected them to sexual acts, according
to charges filed today.
Caravella was arraigned this morning in Wilkes-Barre
Central Court by Senior Magisterial District Judge Andrew Barilla.
He is charged
with 36 counts of charges, which include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse,
aggravated indecent assault of a victim less than 13, aggravated indecent assault
of a child, illegal contact with a minor, corruption of minors, endangering the
welfare of children.
Barilla ordered Caravella jailed in the Luzerne County
Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.
A preliminary hearing
was tentatively scheduled for March 29 in front of Magisterial District Judge
Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Two brothers were arraigned Thursday on charges they
robbed a woman in December. One is wanted for alleged attempted murder in New
York City, authorities said.
McClinton, 23, and his brother, Alonzo McClinton, 28, of Bronx, N.Y.C., were captured
by police and the New York City Fugitive Task Force on Wednesday night. Anthony
McClinton was captured in a parking lot near Apollo Circle and Alonzo was captured
at an apartment at Apollo Circle.
Anthony McClinton was wanted for a shooting
in New York City on March 13.
Nanticoke police charged the two men for allegedly
robbing and assaulting a woman at her residence on Hanover Street on Dec. 3. During
a struggle with the woman, a shot from a gun struck a door, according to the criminal
Police also charged Alonzo McClinton with stealing a vehicle he
asked to borrow from a woman on Dec. 5, the complaint says. The woman learned
Alonzo took the vehicle to New York City.
The two men were arraigned in Wilkes-Barre
Central Court on six counts of robbery, and one count each of theft and simple
assault. Alonzo McClinton was also charged with theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle
and being a fugitive from justice.
Alonzo was jailed at the county prison
for lack of $310,000 bail, and Anthony McClinton was jailed for lack of $300,000
Preliminary hearings are scheduled on March 22 before District Judge
Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
months in sex assault case
Matthew Souder, 26, charged with having an inappropriate
relationship with girl, 14.
A Nanticoke man charged with having an inappropriate relationship
with a 14-year-old girl was sentenced Tuesday to 15 to 30 months in county prison.
Matthew Souder, 26, with a last known address of East Green Street, was sentenced
by Luzerne County Judge David Lupas on one count of statutory sexual assault.
Souder pleaded guilty to the charge in January.
Im sorry about
very sorry, Souder said before his sentencing.
girls mother also spoke Tuesday, saying her daughter suffers from horrible
nightmares, cant sleep at night and attends counseling.
attorney, Thomas Cometa, said his client has accepted responsibility for his actions.
He said alcohol was a major factor in Souders conduct and there were no
allegations of force made.
According to court papers:
On July 15, a then-14-year-old
girl told police that on July 2 she and Souder had sexual intercourse at an East
Ridge Street, Nanticoke, residence.
The girl told police that on July 2 she
went to her friends home, where she had been going on weekends since the
beginning of the summer.
The girl said she and her friend played video games
when Souder asked if they wanted to smoke some marijuana. The girl said Souder
called her a chicken and that she eventually did smoke marijuana.
said Souder also had alcohol and that several drinks were consumed at the residence.
The girl said her friend eventually fell asleep and that she went to bed, police
Thats when, the girl said, she and Souder spoke for a few minutes
in the bedroom when Souder asked her to take off her pants.
The girl said
she refused at least three times before she complied. Police said Souder initially
denied having intercourse with the girl or giving anyone alcohol or marijuana.
He later told police it was the girl who initiated intercourse with him, according
to court papers.
A homeless man was arraigned Wednesday
in Wilkes-Barre Central Court on charges he stole a cell phone and money from
Police charged Daryl Lowyn, 40, with theft and public drunkenness.
He was jailed at the county prison for lack of $10,000 bail.
Lowyn stole a cell phone and money from an apartment in Nanticoke Towers on March
1 or March 2. He also appeared in public while intoxicated on Prospect Street
on Tuesday, according to the criminal complaint.
A preliminary hearing is
scheduled on March 15 before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Justin Wiermusz, of South Hanover Street, reported
someone kicked in the door to his grandfathers garage.
Updated: 2:06 PM
LCCC student caught with gun on
at Luzerne County Community College was charged with possessing a gun on campus
Christian Zaccagni Sr. said he forgot the firearm, which
he said weighs three ounces, was in his coat. Zaccagni said the firearm was discovered
during anatomy class. He claimed to be a nursing student at the college.
47, of Dana Street, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker
on charges of firearms not to be carried without a license and possession of a
firearm on school property. He was jailed at Luzerne County Prison for lack of
Police said the firearm was a .38 caliber handgun, according
to arrest papers.
linked to deadly shooting waives meth charges
A man linked to a deadly shooting inside a Hunlock Township
trailer last month waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday on charges
he sold methamphetamine to police.
Jeffrey Laton, 40, of Wapwallopen, waived
two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance to Luzerne
Nanticoke police withdrew two other counts of possession with
intent to deliver a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of a controlled
substance and criminal use of communication facility.
Nanticoke police alleged
Laton sold methamphetamine to an informant on July 2 and July 18, according to
Laton was arrested Feb. 9 after a deadly shooting at a trailer
on Old Tavern Road in Hunlock Township.
State police said Robert Muntz, 44,
was killed in the shooting.
Laton's girlfriend, Amanda Bowman, 28, was shot
in the arm in the trailer, according to search warrant affidavits.
said the trailer was being used to manufacture methamphetamine.
another woman, Denyse Sedorchuk, 35, told state police Muntz was one of three
masked intruders who forced their way inside the trailer.
No charges have
been filed regarding the fatal shooting.
Police said that on Saturday they arrested Patrick Myers,
36, of East Green Street, Nanticoke, after a three-week investigation.
Myers fought with police and had to
be subdued with a stun gun when police attempted to take him into custody in the
parking lot of the Burger King, police said. Police said they recovered one-quarter
pound of marijuana from Myers.
Myers faces multiple
counts of delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver
a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance, police said.
He also was charged with resisting arrest. Myers was arraigned by District Judge
Joseph Carmody and committed to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack
of $100,000 bail.
Police said they previously arrested
Myers for selling marijuana in 2006.
Robert Zaremba, 24, of Nanticoke was charged with theft for taking money from
a sympathy and prayer box at the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church on Main Road
on Feb. 3, police said. Zaremba admitted stealing the money, police said.
Nicholas Watkins, 23, of Nanticoke was charged with racing on highways
and other traffic citations after a crash on state Route 29 on Wednesday, police
said. Watkinss vehicle struck a guide rail and was disabled, police said.
A white Ford Mustang fled the scene, police said.
Lukasz J. Stachurski,
27, of Nanticoke was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment after a disturbance
at Austies Restaurant on Feb. 18, police said. Witnesses and a victim claimed
Stachurski attacked a patron and a waitress attempting to break up the scuffle,
police said. The waitress and patron were not injured. Stachurski fled the scene
and later contacted Nanticoke police claiming he was assaulted.
State parole agents looking searching for a parolee Friday night found bags containing
more than 6 pounds of marijuana, $515 in cash and a scale in a residence in the
rear of East Main Street, police said.
The occupant, Shawnese Lynn Taylor,
23, faces possession with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana, conspiracy
and possession of drug paraphernalia charges, police said.
Taylor was taken
into custody and was to be arraigned, police said. She also is wanted in Monroe
County on an outstanding warrant. The investigation continues and additional arrests
are expected, police said.
apprehended after breaking into residences of elderly
By Bob Kalinowski
and Erin Moody (Staff Writers) - Citizens Voice
Stachyra was ready to shoot the intruder. But his 85-year-old mother said no.
Scared off by the threat of deadly force around 5 a.m. Thursday during the break-in
at a South Prospect Street residence, the burglar then smashed his way inside
another elderly woman's home a few doors away, police said.
Jamie T. Lohman's
home invasion spree soon ended when he fled the second home, spurred by the victim's
911 call, and encountered Nanticoke cops, police said.
Stachyra of Saylorsburg
said he and family were at the 1016 S. Prospect St. home early Thursday, preparing
to take his mother, Stella, to the casino for her 85th birthday. Then, they heard
a smash. The suspect, the woman's tenant on the other side of the double-block,
soon emerged. The man wielded a metal ice chopper and hammer.
cocked his gun and threatened to shoot.
"She said 'don't shoot,' and
he ran out the window. I wouldn't have had a problem. I listened to my mother
and didn't shoot, and the cops said I would have had the right to shoot,"
"It was a heck of a thing to wake up to - a guy standing
there about 3 feet on the other side of the window holding an ice scraper,"
Lohman, 37, dropped the ice chopper and hammer, then fled
out the window he smashed, Stachyra said. Police say he then broke into 1006 S.
Prospect St., where 87-year-old Eleanor Grotkowski was sleeping in her bedroom.
According to arrest papers filed with Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker
Grotkowski told police she heard a loud noise and then Lohman
appeared in her doorway. She said she recognized Lohman, of 1014 S. Prospect St.,
as a neighbor who helped her clear snow days earlier. Lohman then barricaded the
bedroom, moving her chest of drawers in front of the door. As Grotkowski yelled
for him to leave, Lohman turned his back to her. She grabbed a phone on her night
stand and called 911. Lohman fled.
Nanticoke police Sgt. Mike Roke and Officer
Amos Vanderhoff were outside the home when Lohman emerged. After Lohman ignored
commands, Roke deployed his Taser and took Lohman into custody.
Lohman was under the influence of crack, but are unsure what his intentions were,
said Nanticoke police Detective Capt. William Shultz.
"I don't know what
he was thinking," Shultz said.
The women were traumatized, but uninjured,
"You're talking about 85-year-old and 87-year-old women. They
said their hearts were racing," Shultz said.
The only injuries reported
in the incident were to Lohman himself. He suffered cuts and abrasions to his
hands, arms and legs as well as an ankle injury, police said.
His blood was
tracked throughout both homes, police and the victims said.
blood on the walls on the inside, where he got cut from the glass, and he bled
on the rugs, so we have to get that cleaned," Stachyra said.
said two days before the incident, Lohman knocked on the door, barged inside,
and ran up to the bathroom to call 911 following a domestic dispute next door,
Stachyra said. Stachyra said he was glad he had a gun on hand Thursday to scare
"If that wasn't there, he could have came in swinging and
hurt a lot of people," Stachyra said. "This morning, thank God we were
getting up early. Mom is OK. I'm just glad we were there."
filed two separate criminal complaints against Lohman - one for each residence
- that include charges of burglary, attempted burglary, criminal trespassing,
attempted theft and possessing instruments of a crime.
Due to his injuries,
Lohman was arraigned by Whittaker at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in
Plains Township, where he was expected to undergo surgery. Whittaker set bail
at $150,000 cash.
Lohman was transferred from the hospital to Luzerne County
Correctional Facility on Thursday night.
Police charged Michael John Ondek, 54, of West Kirmar
Avenue, Nanticoke, on evidence of drunken driving after a crash on East Main Street
on Feb. 4.
charged with two counts of driving under the influence and a traffic citation.
The charges were filed with District Judge Donald Whittaker and mailed to Ondek.
Police alleged Ondek had a BAC of .263 percent, the criminal
police arrest knife-wielding suspect in convenience store robbery
Nanticoke police have charged
a man in the Jan. 25 knifepoint robbery of a city convenience store.
Page was caught, police said, when he returned to the Coco Hut store a week later
to make a cash wire transfer and the clerk recognized him as the robber.
36, of 60 W. Green St., Apt. 3, was charged Friday with robbery and theft.
According to police, Page entered the store around 2:35 a.m. on Jan. 25 and pulled
a butcher knife after asking for a carton of cigarettes. Page then took the cash
drawer from the register and fled, police said.
On Feb. 2, Page returned to
the store and made a cash wire transfer and in the process, gave his name to the
store manager. Police later located Page and arrested him.
While Page denied
the robbery, a clerk identified him in a photo lineup and police said he matches
the description of the robbery suspect in surveillance footage.
City police reported the following
> James Gordon, of Garfield
Street, was arrested after a disturbance at his home. Police said he was told
to cease his actions and he followed police outside with a can of beer in his
> Marie Yandrofski of East Ridge Street reported someone smashed
out the rear window of her vehicle.
> Police arrested Kara Young for assaulting
her live-in boyfriend, Shawn Miller, at 412 E. Grand St. because Miller was on
the phone with his ex-girlfriend, making arrangements to pick up their child.
Police said Young, who is five months pregnant, threw a lit cigarette and a coffee
mug at Miller, choked him and then bit him on the face.
> Michael J. Ondek,
54, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol following a head-on
crash Feb. 4 on East Main Street near the 109th Field Artillery armory.
Police arrested Jason Slater, 27, for showing up at his ex-girlfriend's residence
in the East Side Apartment, pounding on the door and harassing her. The woman,
Laura Rasmus, told police Slater is homeless and has been staying in the vestibule,
stairwell and laundry room of the complex and refuses to leave her alone. While
investigating Rasmus' complaint, police noticed Slater emerge from the laundry
room and apprehended him after a brief chase. Slater is charged with loitering
and prowling at nighttime, criminal trespass, harassment, and public drunkenness.
Police say man defied
PFA, stalked his ex-girlfriend
Defying a protection from abuse order against him, a Wilkes-Barre
man stalked his ex-girlfriend Thursday in Nanticoke and then rammed her vehicle
with his car at West Washington Street, police said.
Police say Steven T.
Price, 40, fled from the scene, but the victim called 911 and followed him until
he was apprehended in Hanover Township.
Price is charged with stalking, violating
a PFA order, simple assault, fleeing the scene of a crash, reckless driving, careless
driving, failure to render air and traffic violations.
The victim, Angela
Espinosa, said in her PFA application, filed Jan. 12, that Price has continued
to harass and stalk her since she broke off their weeks-long relationship in November.
She said he follows her, shows up at her job and has threatened to "slash
Price was jailed in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility
before being released on $25,000 bail.
According to arrest papers filed with
Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker:
Espinosa said she was leaving
the Nanticoke Special Care Hospital around 4:41 p.m., when Price drove past her
and bumped her car. While passing, he made a throat-slashing motion with his hand
across his neck, she said. He turned around, followed her and struck the rear
of Espinosa's vehicle, she said.
Price fled and called 911. Espinosa said
she followed Price while on the phone with a 911 operator. Hanover Township police,
which was on the scene of a traffic stop on Middle Road, eventually stopped Price's
vehicle. When officers told Price to stop, he sounded his horn, yelled and drove
around them. They got in their vehicles and pursued him to a parking lot, where
he stopped, police said.
man pleads guilty to 6 counts in child porn case
A Nanticoke man pleaded guilty Tuesday to six counts
relating to charges that he downloaded child pornography because he was curious.
Jamell L. Amos, 34, of East Ridge Street, entered the plea before Luzerne County
Senior Judge Joseph Augello.
Amos, who faces seven years maximum in prison
on each charge, will be sentenced on May 2.
Augello said Amos will have to
register his address under Megans Law and that he is to have no unsupervised
contact with children, the Internet or places children frequent.
released from the Luzerne County jail pending any detainers and his unsecured
bail is set at $25,000.
According to court records, Amos was arrested after
investigators searched his East Ridge Street apartment in June.
allege they uncovered several movies showing children involved in sex acts that
were saved on a computer.
Amos said he was curious when asked
why he downloaded child porn. He said the more illicit videos he watched, the
more he was getting into it.
Amos asked investigators, Why the
(expletive) are people do(ing) this?
He said he saved child porn images
and videos on DVDs he wanted to give to police to investigate. Amos said he instead
smashed the DVDs into pieces, which he recycled.
City police reported the following:
Police said they captured a fugitive wanted by the
New York State Department of Parole on Tuesday.
Paul Walker, 35, was apprehended
at 568 E. Main St. at about 4 a.m., police said.
Walker has been wanted by
parole officers in New York since December 2008.
He was jailed at the Luzerne
County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.
they are investigating an armed robbery at the Cocoa Hut on East Main Street early
Police said two employees reported a man entered the store
at about 2:37 a.m. and asked for a carton of cigarettes.
When an employee
turned to get the cigarettes, the customer displayed a large butcher type knife
and demanded money from the cash register.
Police said the man fled the store
with an undetermined amount of cash and was last seen running on Prospect Street.
Police described the bandit as a white male, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, medium build,
blue or black hooded sweatshirt and an unshaven face.
Anyone with information
about the armed robbery is asked to contact 911.
Marvin Lorah reported
copper pipes were stolen from a residence on West Main Street.
Oshinski, of South Market Street, reported someone stole a 19-inch Toshiba flat-screen
television from her residence.
Robert Pauska, of State Street, reported
someone stole a Stihl Farm chain saw, a Craftsman tool set and a compact disc
player from his vehicle.
Lillian James, of State Street, reported someone
stole a Panasonic compact disc player, a leather coat, tools, a floor jack and
compact discs from her vehicle.
Rich Kaminski, of Line Street, reported
a compact disc player was stolen from his vehicle.
of West Union Street, reported someone smashed a window on her vehicle and stole
an Enon DVD, compact discs, a music player, and a touch screen stereo system.
The seats, dashboard, airbags, console and steering wheel were cut, police said.
ends child-sex case
Matthew F. Souder, 26, of Nanticoke faces a maximum of
10 years in prison.
A Nanticoke man charged with having inappropriate
contact with a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty to a related charge Wednesday.
Matthew F. Souder, 26, whose last known address is on East
Green Street, entered the plea before Luzerne County Judge David Lupas to one
count of statutory sexual assault.
two counts of corruption of minors.
Lupas said Souder
faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 15. Souder
had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges at a December arraignment.
According to court papers, on July 15, a then-14-year-old
girl reported to police that on July 2 she and Souder had sexual intercourse at
an East Ridge Street, Nanticoke, residence.
told police that on July 2 she went to her friends home, where she had been
going on weekends since the beginning of the summer.The
girl said she and her friend played video games when Souder asked if they wanted
to smoke some marijuana.
The girl said Souder called her a chicken and that
she eventually did smoke some marijuana.
The girl said
Souder also had alcohol and that several drinks were consumed at the residence.
The girl said her friend eventually fell asleep and that
she went upstairs to go to bed, police said. Thats when, the girl said,
she and Souder spoke for a few minutes in the bedroom when Souder asked her to
take off her pants. The girl said she replied no at least three times before she
Police said Souder initially denied having
intercourse with the girl or giving anyone alcohol or marijuana. He later told
police it was the girl who initiated intercourse with him, according to court
man accused by police of burglarizing a house and stealing copper pipes was arraigned
Thursday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court.
Michael Kemmerer, 27, of East Broad Street, Nanticoke, was charged with burglary,
criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of
crime and criminal mischief. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional
Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.
According to the
Police allege Kemmerer entered
a home on East Broad Street and tried to steal two bags of copper pipe that had
been cut earlier on Jan. 19.
Kemmerer was caught by
a neighbor who heard someone inside the house. He allegedly told police another
man had cut the pipes and he was instructed to pick up the copper pipes, the criminal
A preliminary hearing is scheduled
on Jan. 25 before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Nanticoke man accused of dealing marijuana
Erin Moody - Citizens Voice
A two-month investigation
into marijuana dealing in Hanover Township and Nanticoke has led to an arrest
and the seizure of more than $10,000, police announced Thursday.
John Thomas May, 18, of Kosciuszko Street, Nanticoke, was arrested on the Sans
Souci Parkway in Hanover Township and marijuana was seized from his vehicle.
May was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Donald
Whittaker on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent
to deliver and misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and
possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use. He was taken to Luzerne County
Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 straight cash bail.
about 5:10 p.m. Thursday, a search warrant was served at a residence on Kosciuszko
Street by members of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and officers of the Hanover
Township and Nanticoke City police departments.
of marijuana, $10,669 in cash, a digital scale and plastic bags were seized. May's
2007 Subaru was also seized.
The two-month investigation
included purchases of marijuana by police.
City police reported the following:
Police charged Benjamin Fortner, 28, of Apollo Circle,
with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after he allegedly damaged a vehicle
on Coal Street on Jan. 1. Fortner was also cited for public drunkenness. A preliminary
hearing is scheduled Feb. 1 before District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
Brandon Rospendowski, of East Broad Street, reported someone stole the
window fabric from his Jeep.
Brandon Switzer, of East Union Street,
reported someone stole an automotive diagnostic scanner and a stereo from his
Michael Whalley, of South Walnut Street, reported someone
stole his wallet from his vehicle.
Copper pipes were stolen from a
home on Christian Street. The home is for sale by Century 21.
Valley Transmission, North Market Street, reported transmissions and other items
were stolen from a storage vehicle.
Kid porn gets man 17.5 years in prison
John Dudkiewicz of Nanticoke is called a danger to society.
He must undergo lifetime supervision.