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2023 Nanticoke PD News

Teen charged in Nanticoke shooting to remain jailed in Lackawanna County

WILKES-BARRE — A 16-year-old boy currently charged as an adult for his alleged role in a drive-by shooting that seriously injured a 14-year-old boy in Nanticoke will remain jailed at the Lackawanna County Prison — for now.
A review hearing on the jail placement of James Alberto Jr. was held before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough on Friday.
The hearing is required to follow procedures that Alberto is not in contact with adult inmates, has access to certain materials and opportunities for physical activities.
Alberto said he only sees adult inmates in a hallway and is continuing with his education at the prison.
Alberto’s attorney, Matthew Muckler, filed a motion seeking to house his client in another facility more adaptable to juveniles.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Miraglia said there is a statewide shortage of juvenile detention centers.
A recommendation to transfer Alberto is the Wayne County Prison, which is less crowded with adult inmates.
Alberto has been housed at Lackawanna County Prison since his arrest by the Pennsylvania State Police at Wilkes-Barre in September for the shooting that injured another juvenile in the area of West Green and Maple streets, Nanticoke, on July 21.
Investigators in court records say Alberto was a passenger in a stolen 2014 Hyundai Elantra allegedly driven by John Carl Pearce IV, 16, of Wyoming.
Alberto reached out the car window and fired multiple shots, striking the victim in the head and ankle, court records say.
Investigators in court records believe the 14-year-old boy was targeted in retaliation as Alberto believed he made disrespectful comments about a deceased infant.
After the shooting, the Hyundai was set on fire in Plymouth.
Pearce has been jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where he is ordered by Vough to continue with education classes.
Alberto is scheduled for another review hearing on his jail placement on Jan. 12, while Pearce is scheduled for a review hearing on Jan. 4.


Nanticoke electrician pleads guilty to tax evasion

SCRANTON — A Nanticoke man pleaded guilty to criminal tax evasion, The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on Thursday.
Robert Luksh, 64, owner of Luksh Electric, located in Nanticoke, pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this week before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.
According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the criminal information to which Luksh pleaded guilty alleges that during 2019 and 2020, Luksh operated his business in cash in order to evade payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of business-related taxes that he owed from previous tax years.
Luksh acknowledged that the monetary loss attributable to his conduct was between $100,000 and $250,000, and he agreed to make restitution to the IRS in the amount of $237,146.98. These charges stem from an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffery St John is prosecuting the case.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.
A sentence will be imposed by the judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the federal sentencing guidelines.

Trial set for Nanticoke man on fatal drugged-driving charges

WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man accused of driving under the influence of fentanyl when he crashed his Ford Explorer that killed an 86-year-old man in Plymouth will face trial in 2024.
Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough on Monday scheduled the trial of Jose Calo, 59, of Pine Street, to begin March 11.
Plymouth police in court records say Calo crashed his Ford that struck James Mahon in the area of 10 E. Main St. on June 25, 2022.
Video footage showed Calo driving the Ford south on East Main Street weaving into oncoming traffic nearly colliding with other vehicles, court records say.
Calo briefly stopped on East Main Street before he accelerated and struck Mahon, who was pinned under a parked vehicle.
Calo mounted a curb causing the Fo
rd to overturn near the Turkey Hill store where bystanders pulled him out of the wreckage, court records say.
The distance between the point of impact with Mahon to when Calo mounted the curb is approximately 40 yards, according to court records.
Mahon was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township where he died.
A blood test revealed Calo had fentanyl in his system, court records say.
Calo’s trial on charges of homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, accidents involving death, driving under the influence and several traffic citations has been continued several times.
Calo remains jailed at the county correctional facility without bail.



Police: Shots fired in parking lot over rideshare dispute


WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Police have charged two men after an apparent altercation over a slammed door at the end of a rideshare led to gunfire on Thursday in a shopping center parking lot.

Charged are Nicholas Anthony Gilliard, 25, of Wilkes-Barre, and Johnny Elijah Credle, 48, of Nanticoke.

According to a press release from Wilkes-Barre Township Police:

At 9:04 p.m. Thursday officers responded to the Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace off Highland Park Boulevard following multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting two individuals shooting at each other in the parking lot.

Thanks to detailed accounts from witnesses, police were able to identify both suspects by 11:30 a.m. Friday and had them in custody by 9 p.m. that night.

The shooting between both individuals was the result of a dispute between a rideshare driver and his fare slamming a car door upon getting into the ride share provider’s vehicle. It was not immediately clear which man was the driver and which was the passenger.

Both men were taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for overnight arraignment, where District Judge David A. Barilla denied bail for both.

Township police said Wilkes-Barre City Police assisted with the initial investigation. Also assisting were Courtdale, Nanticoke, and Ashley police, as well as Pennsylvania State Police and Luzerne County Detectives.


Nanticoke man arraigned on threatening judges, prose

WILKES-BARRE — When Jacob R. Cartwright was jailed due to a protection-from-abuse violation and faced forthcoming charges he yelled multiple threats directed at three Luzerne County judges and two assistant district attorneys, he cut himself and wrote in his own blood the name of a deceased corrections officer on a cell wall, according to court records.
Cartwright further yelled threats directed at corrections officers at the county correctional facility, pledging to kill them and take pictures of their bodies, court records say.
Cartwright will remain jailed without bail, which was denied by District Judge James Dixon of Hazle Township on Thursday when he was arraigned on six counts each of terroristic threats and harassment, five counts of retaliation against prosecutor or judicial officer, three counts of disorderly conduct and a single count of obstruction of justice.
According to the criminal complaint filed by county detectives and the sheriff’s office:
Cartwright appeared before Judge Richard Hughes on an allegation of indirect contempt of court due to a protection-from abuse order against him on Oct. 25. The hearing was held in Courtroom Two on the third floor of the courthouse.
Nearing the end of the proceeding, Hughes found Cartwright guilty of indirect contempt of court.
Cartwright began playing with a cellular phone as Hughes was continuing with the proceeding.
Cartwright’s behavior changed and became aggressive as he yelled multiple threats using obscene language directed at Hughes and two assistant district attorneys.
Hughes revoked Cartwright’s bail resulting in being taken into custody.
Cartwright continued his verbal assault by yelling threats toward Hughes and Judges Stefanie Salavantis and Tarah Toohil, including saying he knows where the judges live.
Sheriff deputies took custody of Cartwright and escorted him out of the courtroom without resistance.
After Cartwright was jailed at the county correctional facility, a corrections officer noticed Cartwright cut himself and used his blood to write the name “Chris Moules” on the cell wall, a reference to Kristopher Moules, who was killed during an altercation with an inmate on July 18, 2016.
Cartwright remained agitated while in prison and attempts to calm him down failed, the criminal complaint says.
When Cartwright was advised by corrections officers he needed to be moved to another cell, Cartwright replied, “Sui up you (expletive expletive) and (expletive) your (expletive) daughter,” the complaint says.
Cartwright threatened to kill corrections officers and take pictures to send to their families, according to the complaint.



Nanticoke man pleads guilty to corrupting two boys

WILKES-BARRE — A man from Wilkes-Barre initially accused by Nanticoke police of sexually assaulting two boys pleaded guilty to child corruption charges in Luzerne County Court.
Nicholas Jack McEwen, 39, of
Plymouth Avenue, pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors before President Judge Michael T. Vough.
Prosecutors withdrew two felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and four misdemeanor counts of indecent assault against McEwen.
Nanticoke police charged McEwen i
n March 2021, after two boys were questioned by a forensic interviewer at the Luzerne County Children’s Advocacy Center.
The two boys told the forensic interviewer McEwen sexually assaulted them inside his residence when he lived on West Green Street in Nanticoke, according to court records.
McEwen is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 30.

Second teenager charged in Nanticoke drive-by shooting
by Emily Cherkauskas, Taylor Whartnaby

NANTICOKE, LUZERNE CO. (WOLF) — A second teenager is charged following the Nanticoke drive-by-shooting in July that left a 14-year-old severely injured.
James Alberto Jr., 16, was brought to the Luzerne County Courthouse on Thursday for arraignment.
He is being charged as an adult for attempted homicide.
Alberto was 15 at the time of the shooting, which happened on July 21 at the intersection of West Green and Maple Streets.
Police responded to find the 14-year-old victim who was reportedly shot in the head and ankle.
John Carl Pearce IV, 16, was arrested that following Wednesday, July 26, on several charges including:
•    Attempted homicide
•    Aggravated assault to commit serious bodily injury
•    Aggravated assault to commit bodily injury
•    Recklessly endangering another person
•    Conspiracy to commit arson
•    Conspiracy to commit reckless burning
•    Conspiracy to commit criminal mischief
•    Conspiracy to commit theft
•    Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
•    Possession of a firearm by a minor
Alberto and Pearce are both locked up in the Luzerne County Prison. Both were denied bail in their arraignments.
Alberto has a preliminary hearing scheduled for October 11. 
Pearce has a dispositional hearing scheduled for November 20.


Police investigating gunfire in Nanticoke
Officials say shots were fired just before 1 p.m.
Sunday along the 200 block of Hanover Street.
WNEP Web Staff 


NANTICOKE, Pa. — An investigation is underway after shots were fired in Luzerne County.
Officials with the Nanticoke City Police Department say shots were fired along the 200 block of Hanover Street in Nanticoke just before 1 p.m. Sunday.
A parked vehicle along Hanover Street was struck by the gunfire, but no one was inside at the time.
No injuries have been reported, and no one is in custody at this time.
The gunfire remains under investigation in Nanticoke.


Middle Distric
t of Pennsylvania | Luzerne County man sentenced to 42 months in prison for Covid facilitation, credit card fraud and identity theft 
Amanda Walker


SCRANTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that 30-year-old Reynard Lewis, formerly of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 42 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and fraud serious crimes of identity theft.
According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Lewis and his co-conspirators used stolen identities to create fake identification documents and credit and debit cards. The conspirators used these counterfeit items and stolen identities to open bank accounts, apply for lines of credit, and obtain retail merchandise. The conspirators also used the stolen identities to apply for multiple COVID-19 pandemic relief loans awarded under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including by submitting false federal tax documents. The conspirators allegedly received over $100,000 in pandemic stimulus funds.
The PPP is intended to help small businesses experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. PPP funds are funded by the March 2020 CARES Act and are offered in the form of forgivable loans subject to certain criteria being met, including use of the funds for employee payroll, mortgage interest, leasing and operating expenses.
Lewis was previously charged in a criminal complaint and was arrested on September 16, 2022. He has remained in custody since his arrest. Lewis’ alleged co-conspirator, Robert Brownstein, 51, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was previously charged in a criminal case with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the Pottsville Bureau of Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to pool the resources of the Department of Justice in collaboration with agencies across the government to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force will strengthen efforts to investigate and prosecute the most prosecutable domestic and international criminals and support agencies charged with managing fraud prevention assistance programs, including through expanding and integrating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources, and techniques to detect fraudulent fraud Actors and their plans, as well as the exchange and use of information and intelligence from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit 
Anyone with information about suspected COVID-19-related fraud may report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or using the NCDF web complaint form at the following address : 

Nanticoke man charged with sexually assaulting woman

WILKES-BARRE — A man from Nanticoke was arrested by Wilkes-Barre City Police after a woman claimed he raped her along railroad tracks in the area of Carey Avenue and West Division Street Sunday.
Jermaine Lee Crosby, 40, of East Union Street, was arraigned by District Judge Rick Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on felony charges of rape by force and sexual assault and a misdemeanor count of simple assault. Crosby was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman receiving medical treatment at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre passed a note in the emergency room claiming she was raped and did not know what to do.
A police officer was summoned to the emergency room where the woman claimed she had been hanging out with Crosby for several weeks.
The woman told police Crosby wanted to have sex but she refused.
Crosby allegedly struck her on the left side of her face, pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted while he held her down by her throat and shoulders along railroad tracks behind a store at Carey Avenue and West Division Street.
Police in the complaint said the woman’s left eye was swollen.
The woman told police she fought Crosby during the assault, the complaint says.
Police say they recovered a flannel shirt in the area where the alleged sexual assault occurred.
Court records say Crosby was released from the county correctional facility on an unrelated case when he posted $8,000 bail on July 23, related to slashing a woman during an argument about a cellular phone on South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, on June 4, 2022.
Crosby is scheduled for trial the week of Sept. 11 on an aggravated assault charge for the slashing, court records say.


Nanticoke man charged with fatal DUI crash in 2021

NANTICOKE — A Nanticoke man is facing vehicular homicide charges related to an alcohol-involved crash that killed his friend and injured another person nearly two years ago.
Police in Nanticoke say James Edward Gordon, 42, of Garfield Street, had a blood alcohol level of .209 percent after he crashed a Chevrolet Tahoe down an embankment at Field and College streets on Dec. 23, 2021, according to court records.
Richard C. Gimbi Sr., 65, of Mountain Top, a rear seat passenger in the Chevrolet, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Facility in Plains Township on Dec. 27, 2021. Another passenger, Terra Hill, sustained injuries to her head, bruised ribs and a broken left leg in two places, court records say.
Police filed charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, reckless driving, careless driving, and two counts each of reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. The charges were filed Monday with District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police responded to the crash at Field and College streets finding the Chevrolet down an embankment and Gordon standing outside the driver’s side door at about 11:30 p.m. Dec. 23, 2021.
Gordon initially said a deer ran out in front of them, and then uttered, “I have been drinking all day; I’m drunk,” the complaint says.
An empty Heineken beer bottle was on the ground next to the driver’s side door and an unopened 24 ounce can of Keystone Light fell from the rear driver’s side door.
Gimbi and Hall had to be extricated from the vehicle by Nanticoke City firefighters.
Gimbi was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley where he passed on Dec. 27, 2021.
An analysis of the vehicle’s recorder estimated Gordon was traveling at approximately 43 mph at the time of the crash, the complaint says.
During an interview with Hill in August 2022, she remembered her ex-boyfriend, Gordon, helped her into the Chevrolet when they left a tavern and being awakened by firefighters and police helping her exit the wrecked vehicle.
Gordon has not been arraigned on the charges.
An adult driver in Pennsylvania is considered legally intoxicated with an alcohol level of .08 percent. 


Judge finds competency restored for Nanticoke patricide suspect

WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. has scheduled a status conference for Nanticoke patricide suspect Kevin Novak who was deemed well enough to face his criminal homicide trial.
Novak, 31, was charged by Penn
sylvania State Police at Wilkes-Barre with fatally shooting his father, Richard Novak, 70, during an argument at the family’s double block home at 1205-1207 S. Prospect St., Nanticoke, on March 11, 2022. The shooting happened inside the 1207 side.
State police in court records say Richard Novak was shot multiple times in the upper body. Multiple .40 caliber shell casings were recovered from the floor in the room where the elder Novak was found.
A spent round was found embedded in the floorboard beneath Richard Novak indicating the victim was shot while lying on the floor, court records say.
A .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun registered to Kevin Novak was found inside 1207 S. Prospect St.
A mental competency hearing for Kevin Novak was held before Sklarosky in February. The competency hearing was closed to the public and court filings had been sealed.
Recently, Sklarosky concluded Kevin Novak’s competency has been restored upon review of a competency assessment report.
Sklarosky scheduled a status conference on Aug. 16 when it is likely a trial date will be scheduled. Kevin Novak is facing an open count of criminal homicide.

Couple sentenced for ‘inhumane’ case of starving boy, endangering other children


WILKES-BARRE — A mother and her boyfriend were sentenced to years in state prison for neglecting her 6-year-old son, who weighed 20 pounds in January 2021, when officials at Greater Nanticoke Area School District notified authorities.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas called the criminal acts by Natalie M. Shaffer, 28, and Zachary Micheal Vincent, 33, “inhumane.”
Shaffer and Vincent were initially charged by county detectives in February 2021, on allegations they withheld food from the boy while he was in their care from January 2016 to January 2020 when the boy was placed in foster care, according to court records.
Shaffer reportedly complained, “she was sick of taking care of this (expletive) kid,” and missed or canceled nearly 100 medical appointments, court records say.
After their arrests, the couple was charged a second time when detectives alleged they endangered their four other children by living in a house filled with debris and dog feces at their Pine View Estates residence in Rice Township.
Detectives noted in court records the residence was filled with broken or dismantled furniture and the couple including the children slept on a single mattress in a living room.
Lupas sentenced Shaffer to five-to-12 years in prison and Vincent to four-to-12-years in prison on charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children. Shaffer and Vincent pled guilty to the charges Feb. 10.
State Deputy Attorney General Angela Sperrazza asked for a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Sperrazza said the boy had little to no body fat when the neglect was discovered. The boy has been able to gain and maintain weight, Sperrazza said.
Sperrazza said no reasonable parent would neglect their child as Shaffer had done, who she said ignored multiple attempts from physicians with offers to evaluate the boy.
Shaffer, represented by Attorney John Pike, and Vincent, represented by Attorney Allyson Kacmarski, apologized in court.


Nanticoke man charged with police chase arraigned
Ed Lewis, The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

HANOVER TWP. — A Nanticoke man wanted on an arrest warrant charging him with initiating a pursuit with Hanover Township police th
at involved a crash on July 16 was arraigned Friday.
Corey James Kittle, 30, of West Broad Street, was stopped for driving a Ford Fusion that had an expired registration in the area of West Division Street and Carey Avenue, according to court records.
Kittle stopped in a parking lot but sped away traveling on Carey Avenue to West End Road where he illegally passed a vehicle and crashed head-on with an oncoming Dodge Ram pickup truck at Lyndwood Avenue, court records say.
Police in court records say Kittle continued to flee passing through stop signs on Lyndwood Avenue and Plymouth Avenue into Wilkes-Barre.
After the vehicle turned onto Oak Street in Wilkes-Barre, Kittle and a passenger abandoned the vehicle and allegedly kicked in a door and ran through a residence.
While township police were on Oak Street searching for Kittle, Wilkes-Barre police responded to a suspicious person at a residence on nearby Dagobert Street.
A surveillance camera at the Dagobert Street residence recorded a man, identified as Kittle, entering a garage and fleeing out a rear door through the back yard, court records say.
Kittle was charged with two counts each of criminal trespass and criminal mischief, and one count each of flight to avoid apprehension, fleeing or attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment, accidents involving damage to attended vehicle, driving with a suspended license and 10 vehicle and traffic citations.
Kittle was arraigned by District Judge David Barilla of Forty Fort and jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail as he was deemed a flight risk.

Teen, 16, charged with atte
mpted criminal homicide in Nanticoke drive-by shooting

NANTICOKE — A 16-year-old boy from Wyoming Borough was charged as an adult in the attempted homicide of a 14-year-old boy in Nanticoke on Friday. 
John Carl Pearce IV, of Wyoming Avenue, is accused of leaning out a passenger side window of a stolen Hyundai Elantra and fired multiple rounds in the area of West Green and Maple streets at about 7:15 p.m., according to court records. 
A 14-year-old boy who was walking from a park where he played basketball was struck in the head and ankle and was transported to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Nanticoke City Police said. 
Pearce was identified as the alleged gunman after investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police at Wilkes-Barre obtained video footage from locations in Nanticoke, Shickshinny and Larksville. 
After the shooting, the Hyundai Elantra was set ablaze in the area of Eno and Church streets in Plymouth, court records say. 
State police charged Pearce with two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of criminal attempt to commit criminal homicide, possession of a firearm by a minor, criminal conspiracy to commit arson, criminal conspiracy to commit reckless burning, criminal conspiracy to commit theft, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Pearce was arraigned before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough early Wednesday morning and jailed without bail as he was deemed a flight risk and a danger to the community. 
According to the criminal complaint: 
A woman from Nanticoke reported her silver Hyundai Elantra was stolen from her East Union Street residence on July 19. 
Two days later on Friday, July 21, Nanticoke City Police responded to gunfire at West Green and Maple streets where they found the 14-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his head and ankle. 
A friend of the victim told police they were playing basketball at West Side Park. As they left the park, the friend rode his ATV onto Line Street near West Union Street when he noticed a silver Hyundai Elantra occupied by several people wearing ski masks drive slowly passed him and turned around. 
The friend observed the rear passenger window roll down and heard one of the occupants say, “That’s not him,” as the Hyundai drove toward West Green Street, the complaint says. 
Surveillance footage in the area of West Green and Maple streets showed the 14-year-old boy walking as the silver Hyundai Elantra drives slowly passed him.
Footage showed the rear seat passenger, wearing a ski mask and a black hooded sweatshirt with strings near the collar, lean out the window and discharged rounds across the roof of the vehicle toward the 14-year-old boy as the driver of the Hyundai speeds away, the complaint says.
State police in the complaint say Luzerne County 911 received a report of a vehicle fire at Eno and Church streets in Plymouth. The vehicle that was intentionally set on fire was the silver Hyundai, according to the complaint.
Surveillance footage showed a black pickup truck following the Hyundai in Plymouth prior to the Hyundai being set on fire.
The pickup truck was a 2013 Ford F150 that was reported stolen from East Third Street in Salem Township.
Salem Township police obtained surveillance footage of a Hyundai in the same area where the Ford truck was stolen at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday.
Other surveillance footage in Shickshinny shows the Hyundai and the Ford truck traveling on state Route 11.
Video footage from Sheetz in Larksville showed the Hyundai and Ford at gasoline pump islands and an individual pumping gasoline into a container at about 3 a.m. Saturday.
Pictures from the Sheetz surveillance cameras were circulated to municipal police departments as one police officer identified Pearce, the complaint says.
Pearce was reported as wanted for absconding from Luzerne County juvenile probation and was also reported as a missing juvenile, according to the complaint.
State police investigators obtained a search warrant Monday for Pearce’s cellular phone records that tracked him in the area of West Green and Maple streets at the time of the shooting, traveling on Interstate 81 in the Scranton area, Salem Township/Berwick areas, at Sheetz in Larksville and at Eno and Church streets in Plymouth, the complaint says.
Pearce’s cellular records allegedly has him in the area of East Union Street, Nanticoke, about the time the Hyundai Elantra was reported stolen. 


Nanticoke boy, 14, was shot in back of head, ankle

Police are seen at West Green and Maple streets in Nanticoke on Friday evening investigating a drive-by shooting that left a teenager seriously injured. Hannah Simerson | Times Leader

Police are seen at West Green and Maple streets in Nanticoke on Friday evening investigating a drive-by shooting that left a teenager seriously injured.

Hannah Simerson | Times Leader
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NANTICOKE — The victim in Friday night’s drive-by shooting was transported to Geisinger Danville, where his condition had been stabilizing early Saturday, city Police Chief Mike Roke said.

The 14-year-old male was struck twice — once in the back of the head and once in the ankle — the chief added. Further updates on the teen’s condition were not immediately available Saturday afternoon.

The incident took place prior to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the area of West Green and Maple streets, where a car with gunshot damage could be seen as investigators went about their work.

Witnesses watching a baseball game at a pub across the street said they heard multiple gunshots and ran outside and saw the boy laying in the street.

Roke on Saturday said he couldn’t comment further on the status of the investigation, which had been turned over to Pennsylvania State Police.

The chief did say on Friday night that he believed the incident was isolated and targeted.

Efforts to reach a PSP spokesperson were not immediately successful on Saturday afternoon.


Police investigate Nanticoke drive-by shooting in which teen was targeted
By Hannah Simerson and Roger DuPuis

NANTICOKE — Police responded to a drive-by shooting in the city Friday night in which a teenage male was shot in the back of the head, Nanticoke Police Chief Mike Roke said.
The victim’s condition was not immediately known.
“This was an isolated incident, and I believe it was almost certainly gang-related,” Chief Roke said. “This was targeted.”
Information about possible suspects was not immediately available, and Roke said his department was working the scene and in the process of handing the investigation over to Pennsylvania State Police later Friday.
The incident took place prior to 7:30 p.m. in the area of West Green and Maple streets, where a car with gunshot damage could be seen as investigators went about their work.
The damaged car belongs to Nanticoke resident Ryan Yale, who said he was inside Jim’s Restaurant and Pub just across the street when the shooting occurred.
What started as an evening out to watch baseball at the restaurant quickly turned dangerous when Yale and the other patrons inside said they heard around five gunshots coming from outside.
“We were just sitting there — enjoying the game — and we heard several repetitious shots that we knew weren’t fireworks and so everybody got up,” Yale said.
Yale said he left the restaurant to find a young male laying on the ground across the street with bullet casings across the street — and one of those bullets struck his car, Yale said.
“I started seeing the casings laying on the ground, so I decided to look in my car,” Yale said. “I saw a bullet hole in my car — of course that’s not nearly as important as the young boy laying there in the street … it’s a sad thing.”

Nanticoke woman sentenced for peddling fentanyl, methamphetamine
Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Nanticoke arrested on allegations she was selling fentanyl and methamphetamine was sentenced to state prison Tuesday.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Ashley Marie Hedderig, 33, of South Market Street, to three years, four months to six years, eight months in
prison on charges of delivery of methamphetamine and criminal conspiracy to deliver fentanyl. Hedderig pled guilty to the charges May 22.
Court records say Hedderig was selling fentanyl and methamphetamine from a motel on Kidder Street, Wilkes-Barre, from November 2020, until she was arrested on Feb. 3, 2021.
Hedderig was arrested when she went to an apartment in the area of Lee Park Avenue and Oxford Street, Hanover Township, court records say.
The investigation was conducted by troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop P Vice and Narcotics Unit and Wilkes-Barre City Police Anti-Crime Unit.


Nanticoke man charged in 2017 churc
h burglary 
Amanda Christman – Citizens Voice

State police have charged a Nanticoke man for the 2017 break-in at a church rectory Dorrance Twp.
Jesse Frace, 28, faces felony charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief and an ungraded count of criminal trespass in the case troopers filed against an “unknown subject” on Oct. 28. Troopers added Frace’s name to the case’s court docket before Magisterial District Judge Ferris Webby, Wright Twp., conducted his preliminary arraignment on June 9, releasing him on $10,000 unsecured bail.
Arrest papers state someone swiped several items totaling $2,001.34, including 15 $50 Carone gift cards, during the break-in at St. Mary’s Church rectory, 3529 St. Mary’s Road, between Oct. 30 and 31, 2017. The burglary caused $11,716.80 in damages. The church used the gift cards as a fundraiser, selling them to the congregation.
Troopers said they obtained DNA from a Craftsman screwdriver and a Husky wrench found at the scene. That DNA showed it belonged to an unidentified male when troopers drew up the charges, according to arrest papers.
Some of the stolen gift cards were used that November in Fairview Twp. Police charged Tyler J. Williams, 26, of Bellefonte, and Leona Butkowski, 52, of Nanticoke, with receiving stolen property as a result. Williams pleaded guilty to the charge in county court in April while the authorities decided not to proceed with the case against Butkowski in February, according to court records.


Nanticoke man gets up to 23 months for pulling gu
n on cops 
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A Nanticoke man who pointed a gun at his girlfriend, a police officer and a Luzerne County Children & Youth caseworker was sentenced Thursday to serve up to 23 months in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Cory Gonzalez Crudop, 41, previously pleaded guilty to four counts of simple assault and one count of terroristic threats stemming from two separate altercations that took place last July, leading to a massive manhunt in Nanticoke.
According to prosecutors, Gonzalez Crudop got into an altercation with his then-girlfriend, Melissa Mervin, on July 12. Gonzalez Crudop beat and choked Mervin, at one point taking a gun and sticking the barrel into her mouth, threatening to kill her, prosecutors said.
Two days later, Gonzalez Crudop became the subject of a manhunt after allegedly pointing a gun at police and a child services caseworker who arrived at his home to remove children. An anonymous tip led police to capture Gonzalez Crudop at 161 State St. in Nanticoke.
In court Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Kyle Scanlon requested a standard-range sentence.
Gonzalez Crudop told the judge he has been working to straighten out his life, obtaining a job and attending drug and alcohol treatment.
“He has changed his life around,” defense attorney Frank McCabe said. “He has taken responsibility for his actions.”
Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough sentenced Gonzalez Crudop to serve 11-23 months in the county jail and to serve 30 hours of community service.
Gonzalez Crudop will be immediately eligible for the work-release program, the judge ordered.


County coroner rules Nanticoke woman’s death a homicide

The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office has determined that the death of a woman found in a West Church Street residence in Nanticoke on Saturday was a homicide.
Lastarr Williams, 27, died from multiple traumatic injuries due to physical assault, according to a release from Luzerne County Coroner Jill Matthews issued on Sunday afternoon.
Investigators from Nanticoke, Newport Township and the Pennsylvania State Police responded to the area of 203 W. Church St. on Saturday after it was reported that a deceased
female was at the location.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene on Saturday. An autopsy was performed by Dr. Gary Ross, who came to the conclusion that Williams’ death was to be ruled a homicide.
There was no word Sunday as to whether or not anyone had been taken into custody regarding this incident. The coroner’s report notes that any further information will be released from the Nanticoke City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police or the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.


Nanticoke man charged in straw gun
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A Nanticoke man was charged Wednesday with making straw purchases of five firearms, including two guns for a 19-year-old friend who was later killed in an accidental shooting in Wilkes-Barre.
Kahseem Abdul Crook, 24, of 434 S. Market St., is facing felony charges alleging he lied about who was purchasing the firearms as well as about his own marijuana use.
According to the complaint, police began investigating Crook after he attempted to buy a Glock G26 9mm pistol at Bear's Gun Room on May 20, 2021. On the purchase paperwork, Crook indicated he was the actual buyer of the weapon and that he is not a user of illegal drugs.
However, a background check revealed Crook had a pending case in Lackawanna County for driving under the influence of marijuana and the purchase was denied, according  Luzerne County detectives.
Investigators then learned Crook had purchased five firearms between June 12, 2020, and Aug. 20, 2020 — a Ruger .380-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber Glock pistol, a Taurus 9mm pistol, a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol and a Glock .45-caliber pistol, police said.
During questioning, Crook admitted being a habitual marijuana user, saying he is trying to get a medical marijuana card, and also acknowledged buying the pistols for other people, according to police.
The actual buyers included a friend who was killed in an accidental shooting on Lloyd's Lane in Wilkes-Barre, and police say Crook reported he was unsure whether the gun he purchased was involved in that shooting.
Court documents do not identify the friend by name, but 19-year-old Diavian Mikel Donyae Tooley was killed in an accidental shooting while dancing and recording a rap video during a birthday party at 72 Lloyds Lane, Wilkes-Barre, the night of March 27, 2021.
Tooley's cousin, Ziaire W. Mouzone, 24, was previously sentenced to five years in the Intermediate Punishment Program for an involuntary manslaughter conviction in that case after admitting to racking the slide without knowing whether the weapon was loaded.
According to court documents, Crook also bought guns for two other people — a Crips street gang member identified in court documents only as "Pooka," and 29-year-old Shamal Grandoit, a convicted felon who was later caught with two of the weapons in Dutchess County, New York.
Crook claimed he had accidentally left the two guns in Grandoit's car prior to his arrest, but admitted receiving several hundred dollars in payments from Tooley and "Pooka" for their purchases, according to the complaint.
Police charged Crook with six felony counts of lying on a firearm purchase form and six misdemeanor counts of unsworn falsification.
Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker arraigned Crook on the charges Wednesday morning and set bail at $10,000.
Crook was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 10.


Nanticoke man charged with raping girl in Conyngham Twp. 
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A Nanticoke man is charged with raping a girl in Conyngham Twp.
Joseph Paul Banesh, 27, of 128 W. Church St., is accused of raping the girl on two occasions last week.
According to the charges, the first sexual assault took place Wednesday at a home on Cemetery Road, Conyngham Twp., when Banesh thre
w the girl onto a couch and tore her clothes off.
Banesh also took nude photos of the victim, and tried to smother her with a pillow, troopers said.
The charges allege Banesh also raped the girl on Thursday night.
During questioning, Banesh told police the sexual encounters he had with the girl were consensual “most of the time.” He claimed to not remember the alleged sexual assaults, saying he was blacked out at the time.
Troopers charged Banesh with statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, rape, simple assault and strangulation.
Magisterial District Judge James M. Dixon arraigned Banesh on the charges Saturday morning and denied bail, deeming him a danger to society.
Banesh was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 2.


Suspect in Nanticoke f
atal shooting waives hearing, sending criminal homicide charge to county court

WILKES-BARRE — A Plymouth man accused with fatally shooting another man over a woman’s romance waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Donald Whittaker on Friday.
James Scott Miller, 32, of Smith Row, will face an open count of criminal homicide in Luzerne County Court.
State police at Wilkes-Barre and county detectives allege Miller fatally shot Brian Edwards, 37, of Nanticoke, on Jifkin Street, Nanticoke, on Feb. 25.
Investigators in court records say Miller and Edwards were engaged in a feud over the same woman, who was Miller’s girlfriend.
Edwards sustained gunshot wounds while he was inside his Ford 250 pickup truck.
Investigators say they recovered six .40-caliber shell casings on Jifkin Street and two spent .40 rounds, one from the driver’s seat of the truck and another during Edwards’ autopsy.
Witnesses reported hearing five to seven shots and a man, believed to be Miller, having trouble starting a motorcycle before he was able to get it to start and flee the area.
Investigators say they recovered surveillance footage of Miller fleeing on the motorcycle after Edwards was shot, court records say.
Miller was at another woman’s residence where he placed a backpack that allegedly contained a holster for a .40-caliber handgun, his wallet and a box of .40-caliber full metal jacket ammunition containing 29 rounds with 21 rounds missing.
Miller was outside to retrieve a tool from a vehicle as Edwards drove by, court records say.
A person known to the two men told investigators, according to court records, Miller and Edwards did not get along and had a long standing feud over Miller’s girlfriend, also suggesting Edwards was in a relationship with the same woman.
Edwards’ girlfriend told investigators Edwards and Miller were at one time best friends., and discovered messages on Edwards’ cellular phone between Edwards and Miller’s girlfriend, and messages between Edwards and Miller arguing over the same woman, court records say.
About three weeks before he was killed, Edwards allegedly told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it.”
Miller waived the hearing through his attorney, Frank T. McCabe II. He remains jailed at the county correctional facility without bail.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel E. Zola and Assistant District Attorney Anthony Cardone are prosecuting.


U.S. marshals capture 2 fugitives in Nanticoke
Bob Kalinowski – Staff Writer

NANTICOKE — U.S. marshals and a contingent of local law enforcement arrested two wanted men Tuesday following tense moments on the 300 block of East
Green Street.
The men were taken into custody at gunpoint around noon.
Police on scene said one man was wanted by Luzerne County and another was wanted by state parole officials.
At least one of the men had led police on pursuits recently but managed to escape until Tuesday.
Hanover Twp. police identified one of the suspects as 24-year-old Brandon Mayewski, who was wanted on drug possession charges. According to police, Mayewski was found in possession of fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in Hanover Twp. on Jan. 6.
Magisterial District Judge Joseph A. Halesey arraigned Mayewski on the charges Tuesday afternoon and set bail at $25,000.
Mayewski was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 19. Police say additional charges were pending against Mayewski “for his involvement in other crimes” still under investigation.
The other person caught during the raid was not immediately identified.
Assisting U.S. Marshals on scene were police from Nanticoke, Newport Twp., Hanover Twp. and Wilkes-Barre.
The 300 block of East Green Street was closed for more than an hour during the police operation.



Felony assault charges withdrawn against Nanticoke man

WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man accused of aiming a handgun at a Nanticoke police officer and a child caseworker with Luzerne County Children & Youth Services and placing a handgun in the mouth of a woman pled guilty to misdemeanor charges Monday.
Cory Ma Gonzalez Crudop, 40, of State Street, stood accused of hiding in the basement of a residence at 64 Hill St., as three Nanticoke police officers assisted two caseworkers from Children & Youth Services inspecting the home on July 14, according to court records.
When an officer opened a door, Crudop was accused of aiming a firearm at the officer before fleeing the house where he aimed the firearm at a caseworker, according to court records.
The incident prompted a massive police search of the Lower Broadway area of Nanticoke that ended in Crudop’s apprehension at his residence.
Child caseworkers were at the house two days after Crudop on July 12 placed the barrel of a handgun in the mouth of a woman during a domestic dispute and threw a car battery through the windshield of a vehicle that a child occupied, court records say.
Crudop was scheduled for trial this week.
Instead, prosecutors amended the felony grading of two counts of aggravated assault to misdemeanor simple assault in a negotiated plea agreement with Crudop and his attorney, Frank McCabe, involving the police officer and child caseworker.
Crudop pled guilty to four total counts of simple assault and a single count of terroristic threats, all misdemeanors, before President Judge Michael T. Vough.
A felony count of aggravated assault involving the placing of a gun in the woman’s mouth was withdrawn.
Crudop is scheduled to be sentenced June 8. He remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.


Nanticoke man pleads guilty to federal fentanyl charge 
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A Nanticoke man has pleaded guilty to dealing fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Dario George, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, prosecutors said.
George admitted distributing between 280 grams a
nd 400 grams of fentanyl in the Luzerne County area in 2021 and 2022, prosecutors said.
When authorities searched George’s home on May 19, 2022, they found roughly 30,000 bags of fentanyl along with $8,098 in cash, cocaine and heroin, prosecutors said.
George faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years when he is sentenced at a later date.


Nanticoke man charged with harassing former supervisor

HANOVER TWP. — A former truck driver at an international shipping company was charged with stalking a supervisor.
Frank J. Marcinkowski, 57, of Enterprise Street, made repeated unwanted phone calls to his former supervisor, a woman, and showed up at the facility on New Commerce Boulevard in Hanover Industrial Estates despite being told to stay away, according to court records.
Marcinkowski surrendered on charges of stalking and harassment filed by township police. He was arraigned by District Judge Rick Cronauer in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman reported to police last month about ongoing harassment from Marcinkowski, a former truck driver at DHL. The woman was Marcinkowski’s supervisor.
She claimed Marcinkowski was relieved of his duties in early 2022 after he failed to return to work after a leave of absence. She continued to have contact with Marcinkowski because she was concerned for his health but after several months, she decided to cease having further contact with him.
She told police the relationship was strictly professional.
Earlier this year, Marcinkowski began calling the woman at her place of employment every morning at 7:30 a.m. and again at 8 a.m. She repeatedly told Marcinkowski she no longer wanted him to contact her. 
Marcinkowski ignored the woman’s wishes and continued to call and text her, the complaint says.
When the woman ignored his calls, Marcinkowski allegedly called the security desk and identified himself using another name asking to speak with the woman.
Police in the complaint say Marcinkowski called other employees and began showing up at the facility.
During one visit, Marcinkowski wore a DHL uniform and was granted access onto the property driving his vehicle near the door of the woman’s office, according to the complaint.
Marcinkowski left when the woman told him she was calling security.
The woman reported Marcinkowski called the facility’s general manager asking to speak with the woman, and left her a voice mail from a blocked number.
The facility’s legal team sent Marcinkowski a certified letter ordering him to cease contact with the woman and other employees.
A day before the woman reported the alleged harassment, she encountered Marcinkowski outside the facility waiting in his vehicle as she was leaving at the end of her shift. She told police she feared Marcinkowski was going to follow her home, the complaint says.


‘Armed and dangerous’ homicide suspect sought

Investigators say they are searching for an armed and dangerous suspect in connection with last weekend’s fatal shooting in Nanticoke.

Pennsylvania State Police identified the wanted man as James Scott Miller, 32, of Plymouth, according to a release issued Thursday announcing that a warrant has been issued for Miller’s arrest.

Brian Edwards, 37, died from a gunshot wound after being shot in the area of Jifkin Street about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Edwards was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, where he died.

An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross revealed Edwards died from a gunshot wound. Luzerne County Coroner Jill Matthews ruled Edwards’ shooting death a homicide.

State police reiterated Thursday that the shooting is believed to be an isolated incident. Assisting in the investigation are the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, Luzerne County Detectives, and Nanticoke City Police Department.

Anyone with information pertaining to Miller’s whereabouts or the incident is asked to contact PSP Wilkes-Barre at 570-821-4110.

Suspect in Nanticoke fatal shooting surrenders

NANTICOKE — In the weeks before Brian Edwards was fatally shot, he told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it,” according to court records.

Edwards, 37, of Nanticoke, was gunned down allegedly by James Scott Miller, 32, who surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant charging him with an open count of criminal homicide.

Miller, of Smith Row, Plymouth, was in a feud with Edwards over the same woman, court records say.

The fatal shooting of Edwards happened near a woman’s residence on Jifkin Street in Nanticoke where Miller was visiting on Feb. 25.

Investigators with the state police at Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County district attorney’s office say they recovered surveillance footage of Miller fleeing the scene on a motorcycle after Edwards was shot inside his Ford 250 pickup truck, court records say.

Miller turned himself in at the state police, Wilkes-Barre, barracks and was taken to District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke to be arraigned. He was jailed without bail at the county correctional facility.

Investigators say they recovered six .40-caliber shell casings on Jifkin Street and two spent .40 rounds, one from the driver’s seat of the Ford pickup and another during Edwards’ autopsy.

According to the criminal complaint:

Miller was at a friend’s residence on Jifkin Street and went outside to a vehicle search for a tool. Minutes after walking outside, the friend heard gunshots.

Witnesses in the area told investigators they heard five to seven shots and a man having trouble starting a motorcycle before he was able to get it to start and sped away.

Investigators found Miller’s backpack inside the friend’s residence that held a holster for a .40 caliber handgun, Miller’s wallet and birth certificate and a box of .40 caliber full metal jacket ammunition containing 29 rounds with 21 rounds missing.

The friend told investigators, court records say, Miller and Edwards did not get along and had a long standing feud over Miller’s girlfriend, also suggesting Edwards was in a relationship with the same woman.

Edwards’ girlfriend told investigators Edwards and Miller were at one time best friends. The girlfriend of Edwards claimed she discovered messages in Edwards’ phone between Edwards and Miller’s girlfriend, and messages between Edwards and Miller arguing over the same woman.

Edwards allegedly told his girlfriend Miller had threatened him about “waiting for him (Edwards) with a gun,” court records say.

About three weeks before Edwards was killed, he allegedly told his sister if anything happened to him, “Jimmy did it.”

Miller’s girlfriend told investigators she was just friends with Edwards and he dropped her off at a food market in Nanticoke prior to the shooting. She also described Miller as “violent” and angry” due to his addiction to methamphetamine and crack cocaine, court records say.


Nanticoke man gets probation for killing cat

WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man accused of using an air pellet rifle to kill a cat was sentenced to two years probation on a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.

Herman Augusta Curry Jr., 65, of College Street, was charged by humane officers with the SPCA of Luzerne County after Nanticoke police and firefighters recovered a deceased cat from a tree in the area of 214 College St. on May 1, 2022, according to court records.

Curry told humane officers he believed he shot a rabid raccoon.

A necropsy, similar to an autopsy, showed the cat was shot seven times and a pellet was recovered from its spine during the procedure, court records say.

Curry claimed at the time his neighbor has a ton of garbage outside that attracts a variety of animals such as skunks, raccoons, rats, opossums and cats.

Felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals causing death and aggravated cruelty to animals causing torture were withdrawn against Curry at a preliminary hearing.

Curry pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was sentenced earlier this week by Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough to two years probation. Curry was also ordered not to own domestic animals and pay $385 in restitution.


Nanticoke cop pinned to parked car arrests alleged drunken driver
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A drunken Nanticoke man illegally driving an all-terrain vehicle on city streets crashed into a parked vehicle and then hit a police lieutenant, pinning his leg to a car, as he tried to flee the scene, police said.
Russ David Noss, 23, of 214 Apollo Circle, is accused of having a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit for driving when he crashed into Nanticoke police Lt. Brian Williams, who held onto the suspect and made the arrest himself after being freed.
According to the complaint, Williams was in uniform and driving a marked patrol car around 5 p.m. Thursday when he saw an ATV speeding along East Main Street and making an illegal left turn onto Locust Street.
After observing the ATV hit a one-way sign and crash into a parked car, Williams turned around and put on his lights.
Upon reaching the scene of the crash, Williams saw the driver, later identified as Noss, tip the overturned ATV back onto four wheels and attempt to re-start its engine, police said.
Williams ran to the ATV and grabbed the handlebars as well as Noss to stop him from fleeing.
Noss, however, managed to get the vehicle started. He first drove in reverse, then went forward, causing the rear wheels of the ATV to catch onto and pull Williams’ left leg, police said.
As the ATV closed in for a collision with a parked car, Williams jumped on the back to avoid being crushed, according to the complaint.
However, he was not able to avoid having his right leg pinned between the ATV and the parked car, police said.
Despite being pinned, Williams prevented Noss from fleeing the scene until responding medic Gabriel Metric turned off the ATV, seized the key and lifted the back of the vehicle to extricate Williams, according to the complaint.
Williams then handcuffed and arrested Noss before being taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to be treated for injuries to his legs.
Noss, who is already on probation with a suspended driver’s license, submitted to a breath test showing a blood-alcohol level of .142%, nearly double the legal limit for driving of .08%, police said.
Police charged Noss with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle, driving under the influence and fleeing or attempting to elude police.
Magisterial District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravitz arraigned Noss on the charges Friday morning and released him on $25,000 unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 6.

Nanticoke man charged in alleged stolen check scheme

A Nanticoke man was charged Tuesday with two counts of forgery and other related offenses after he allegedly stole business checks from his workplace in Wilkes-Barre, forging signatures and passing the checks along to a third party in order to cash them.
Jason Dates, 30, was arrested after being implicated in what Wilkes-Barre police referred to as a “stolen check scheme” in their criminal affidavit.
Dates allegedly stole checks from Smith’s New and Used Tires, located on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, and used the stolen checks to buy tools and parts for his personal vehicle, according to police.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Dates:
Police were first notified of the scheme on Jan. 24, when an individual came to police headquarters to report that his manager, Dates, was stealing checks from their workplace and was having other people cash them.
Contact was made with a sergeant from the Edwardsville Police Department shortly before the witness arrived at headquarters; the sergeant reported that he had received a call about fraudulent checks being cashed at United Check Cashing in Edwardsville.
The witness told investigators that the checks were stolen from Smith’s New and Used Tires, and that Dates was the only one who had access to the checks on that day. Furthermore, the witness said that he had security footage of Dates handing off the checks to another person, a female who was then caught trying to cash them in Edwardsville.
The female told authorities in Edwardsville that it was Dates who gave her the checks to cash.
In an extended interview with Edwardsville police, the female told investigators that she was approached by two individuals, including Dates, and was asked to cash checks for them.
She said that she was paid $500 to cash the check, and told police that she was assured that the checks were legitimate. She deposited a check for $4,000 on Dates’ behalf, and then tried to cash one for $2,500 that was flagged by United Check Cashing.
Investigators also learned from the female that she had attempted to cash several other checks at Anthracite Newstand but, because they were improperly filled out, attention was drawn to them and she didn’t go through with cashing them.
This witness also told police that she didn’t receive any funds from the checks, and that Dates attempted to pay her for vehicle parts with forged checks, but they didn’t cash.
Police were able to determine through investigation and witness testimony that Dates would steal the checks from the Smith’s New and Used Tire business check book, and forge them by signing the name “Michael Smith” on the checks.
The check numbers and the business’s bank records were provided for police, showing the checks that Dates allegedly stole, wrote and tried to cash.
One unauthorized check, used to purchase a tool for the shop, was valued at $500. Dates also allegedly used the company credit card to make two purchases for vehicle parts for his personal vehicle.
Dates was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge James Haggerty on Tuesday morning.
He was charged with four felonies — forgery, forgery by altered writing, access device fraud and engaging in criminal conspiracy. Additional misdemeanor charges include two counts of bad checks, two counts of access device fraud and theft by unlawful taking.
Dates was bailed out at $15,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 7 at 9:30 a.m. in Luzerne County Central Court.

Nanticoke man sentenced for sexually assaulting girl

WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke man who admitted to sexually assaulting a girl and sending her multiple lewd pictures and text messages was sentenced to spend up to 14 years in state prison Thursday.
Richard Thomas Bonk, 47, of South Prospect Street, opted to remain quiet when he appeared before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough to be sentenced on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, criminal solicitation of child sexual abuse materials and corruption of minors. Bonk pled guilty to the charges Oct. 12.
County detectives and Larksville police arrested Bonk in June 2021 after the girl’s grandmother discovered nude pictures of a woman on the child’s cellular phone, according to court records.
A forensic extraction of the girl’s cellular phone resulted in a series of sexual text messages between Bonk and the girl, including Bonk sending pictures of naked woman and soliciting nude pictures of the girl, court records say.
During an interview at the Luzerne County Children’s Advocacy Center, court records say, the girl said Bonk sexually assaulted her inside his house as his wife slept.
Vough sentenced Bonk to seven to 14 years in state prison and also ordered him to register his address as a sex offender for 25 years under the state’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Assistant District Attorney Carly Hislop said in court the girl was 10 when Bonk began sending her sexual text messages.


Judge slams child predator with 50-100 years in prison for sex abuse case 
Bob Kalinowski – Citizens Voice

A man convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl in Nanticoke will spend at least 50 years in state prison for his crimes, a Luzerne County judge ruled Thursday.
Luzerne County President Judge Michael Vough ordered Jayson S. Montanez to serve 50 to 100 years in prison following his conviction at his September jury trial.
It took a jury just 20 minutes to find Montanez guilty — despite his cla
ims of innocence from the witness stand.
“Not only are his crimes egregious and heartbreaking but his continued denials shows he is not someone who could be reformed,” Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Shana Messinger said. “He has dangerous sexual proclivities.”
Montanez, 36, who lived at 209 W. Church St. in Nanticoke, was accused of molesting the child while she was in his care between 2013 and 2014. The girl and her brother testified in graphic detail that Montanez repeatedly forced her to perform sex acts on him.
The 2014 case took years to finally come to trial following a series of appeals and court rulings, Messinger said.
“This was a solid outcome given the time and effort,” she said.
While jailed on the charges, police arrested Montanez on child pornography charges after his mother turned him in following her discovery of images of naked children, as young as ages 1 or 2, on his phone. He was sentenced to 18-36 months in prison in that case.
Additionally, police said he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child in Alabama in 2015, though attempts to determine his sentence in that case were not successful.
At his recent trial, Montanez and his attorney claimed that the children were being coached to fabricate their claims.
Montanez said he accepted responsibility for the pornography by pleading guilty to those charges, but he also asserted that someone had sent the images to him unsolicited and that he thought he had deleted them.
Montanez was sentenced on eight total charges including deviate sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 and aggravated indecent assault of a child.


Vehicular homicide suspect denied bail in Plymouth crash
James Halpin – Citizens Voice

A Nanticoke man accused of being high on fentanyl when he crashed and killed an 86-year-old pedestrian in Plymouth will remain in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility pending trial, a judge ordered Friday.
Jose Calo, 58, of 125 Pine St., is facing vehicular homicide charges for causing the June 25 crash that claimed the life of Plymouth resident James Mahon.
During a brief video hearing Friday, Chief Public Defender Steven Greenwald sought bail for Calo, who has been jailed without bail since his arrest in October.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Hogans opposed the motion, saying Calo is a flight risk and a danger to the community. This is Calo’s third driving-under-the-influence arrest, and took place while his driver’s license was suspended, the prosecutor said.
He also argued that Calo is a flight risk.
Plymouth police Capt. Michael Thomas testified that when he went to make the arrest, Calo refused to open the door and then tried to run. Calo was ultimately captured after fleeing out a back door, Thomas said.
Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough denied the motion for bail.
Police said Calo’s red Ford Explorer veered into oncoming traffic in the area of 39 E. Main St., nearly colliding with another vehicle before stopping along the northbound curb.
Calo then resumed driving and hit two vehicles, knocking Mahon to the ground, prosecutors allege. Calo’s Ford Explorer continued moving forward, running Mahon over with both driver’s side tires, according to prosecutors.
Mahon suffered severe trauma and later died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp.
Authorities allege Calo was high on fentanyl at the time of the crash.
Calo is charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, causing a fatal accident while not properly licensed, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, careless driving, disobeying a traffic lane and failing to stop at a traffic signal.

Nanticoke mother sentenced for smothering son who interrupted sex
Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Nanticoke was recently sentenced in Luzerne County Court for smothering her son with a pillow after the boy interrupted her having sex.
Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Sharon Wallace, 40, of Slope Street, to two-to-four years in state prison on charges of strangulation, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault. Wallace was convicted of the charges following a non-jury trial Nov. 8.
Wilkes-Barre police in court records say Wallace and her son, who suffe
rs from attention deficit disorder, were staying at a hotel on Kidder Street because they were homeless in November 2020.
Luzerne County Children and Youth Services reportedly paid for the hotel stay.
While in a hotel room, Wallace was in a bed with her son who fell asleep. Wallace then climbed into another bed and engaged in sexual relations with a man, court records say.
The boy woke up and threw a pillow at Wallace who, in turn, used
the pillow to smother the boy’s face for three to four minutes, according to court records.

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