Newborns death under investigation in Nanticoke
Bill Wellock - Citizens Voice
are investigating the death of a nine-day-old girl whose mother was arraigned
Thursday on unrelated drug possession charges.
Police began investigating
the death of the child after she died on Nov. 20. Paramedics responded to the
East Union Street home, for a report of a child not breathing, they tried to revive
the baby, but were unsuccessful. They transported the child to a hospital, where
she was pronounced dead. Authorities are waiting for the results of an autopsy,
said Nanticoke police Chief Tom Wall.
Since then, officers arrested Sydney
Marie Simon, 26, of Nanticoke, on an unrelated domestic violence charge on Dec.
18. When staff at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility searched her, they
found a bag hidden within the lining of her bra that contained 37 pills, including
Tramadol, Klonopin, and Flexeril, according to a criminal complaint.
charged Simon with possession of a controlled substance.
Simon appeared before
Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker for a preliminary arraignment on
Thursday. She was lodged in LCCF in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing
is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 4, 2017.
arraigned on drug charges stemming from Nanticoke shooting
A city man who survived a shooting and his girlfriend were arraigned Thursday
on drug charges stemming from the shooting incident.
Kenneth Powell, 30, and
Courtney Padden, 26, were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker
on Thursday afternoon.
Police investigated Powell and Paddens East Spring
Street home after Powell was injured in a shooting outside the house on the morning
of Dec. 8.
While searching the home, police found a large bag of suspected
marijuana in a drawer belonging to Padden and another large bag of marijuana in
a safe in the basement along with capsules of a brown substance suspected
to be a derivative of cannabis, arrest papers state.
Police also recovered
syringes of cannabis liquid, digital scales, packaging materials, containers of
a substance believed to be a mixture of marijuana, a glass marijuana pipe and
other paraphernalia. Arrest papers state police also found $12,950 in cash stashed
in bags in two separate dressers.
Police executed a search warrant on the
home after investigating the scene of the shooting where Powell suffered an injury.
Nanticoke Police Chief Thomas Wall said officers detected an extreme odor
of marijuana coming from the home during the investigation.
shot after he confronted an unidentified man who had broken into his home in the
early-morning hours of Dec. 8.
A fight ensued outside the home and the suspect
pulled out a pistol and shot Powell in the back. Wall said at the time that the
bullet exited near Powells stomach and he was transported to Geisinger Wyoming
Valley Medical Center for surgery.
The suspected shooter has not been arrested.
Padden and Powell both face charges of manufacturing with intent to deliver, conspiracy
to manufacture with the intent to deliver and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Paddens bail was set at $150,000 and Powells at $250,000 both
were in Luzerne County Correctional Facility as of Thursday evening.
hearing was scheduled for Padden and Powell on Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. at Whittakers
investigating death of 9-day-old infant
City police and the Luzerne County District Attorneys Office are
investigating the death of a 9-day-old girl.
According to Nanticoke Police
Chief Thomas Wall:
Officers were dispatched to a East Union Street residence
on Nov. 20 for the report of an unresponsive infant. First responders attempted
CPR on the baby, and she was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley in Plains
Township where she was pronounced dead.
Wall said the investigation is ongoing
and authorities are awaiting results of toxicology tests on the infant.
infants mother, Sydney Marie Simon, 26, of Nanticoke, was arraigned on an
unrelated charge on Thursday.
Simon faces charges of possessing contraband
by an inmate. According to police, Simon was in the Luzerne County Correction
Facility on a domestic violence charge. The domestic violence charge is not related
to the investigation into the babys death.
Run man faces domestic violence charges
Sarah Scinto - Citizens
City police arrested a Warrior Run resident on outstanding domestic
violence charges after a citizen reported the man was trying to break into a city
A resident reported that Irving Mark Tattersall, 52, was trying
to enter an East Ridge Street residence and acting suspicious on Tuesday.
Police said Tattersall had outstanding charges against him for a domestic violence
incident on Monday.
In that incident, the alleged victim told police Tattersall
attacked her when she asked him to leave her home. She said Tattersall slapped
her in the face, wrapped his hands around her throat, grabbed her by the hair
to force her into a chair and shoved his fingers in her mouth. Before fleeing
the Kosciuszko Street home, the victim said Tattersall threw beer and a glass
at her and kicked over the Christmas tree and coffee table.
taken into police custody on charges of simple assault and harassment. Police
said Tattersall became combative and failed to follow directions from officers
while waiting for arraignment at district court and will likely face additional
charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
Nanticoke woman accused of prescription fraud
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke woman who once worked for an insurance
company has been charged with illegally accessing patient information to fill
Chambre Frazier, 27, stole the identities of patients
at Highmark Insurance where she once worked as a customer service representative
to illegally obtain prescription drugs, according to a news release from the state
Attorney Generals Office.
Frazier called various pharmacies, using the
names of the patients and their physicians to fill 16 fraudulent prescriptions
for drugs including Promethazine, Xanax and Alprazolam, the news release states.
Highmark Insurance would then be billed for the drugs, under the names of the
patients whose information Frazier allegedly used.
Frazier is charged with
multiple counts of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, insurance
fraud, criminal use of a communication facility and identity theft.
were filed through the office of Magisterial District Judge Thomas Malloy in Wilkes-Barre.
The Attorney Generals Office has obtained an arrest warrant for Frazier,
who is considered a fugitive, according to the news release.
Drug charges filed against shooting victim
Police have filed drug charges against a man who was injured in a shooting
earlier this month.
Kenneth Powell, 30, survived a shooting outside his East
Spring Street home in the early hours of Dec. 8, but Nanticoke police Chief Thomas
Wall said the investigation of that incident led authorities to file charges against
It was obvious that there was an extreme odor of marijuana emitting
from the residence, Wall said.
Police secured and executed a search
warrant at the residence and found large amounts of marijuana and cash,
inside, Wall said.
Based on those observations warrants were issued
for (Powells) arrest, he said.
Powell was shot on Dec. 8 after
he confronted an unidentified male who had broken into his home, according to
A fight ensued outside the home and the suspect pulled out
a pistol and shot Powell in the back. Wall said at the time that the bullet exited
near Powells stomach and he was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley
Medical Center for surgery.
The suspected shooter has not been arrested.
Powell will face charges of manufacturing with the intent to deliver, conspiracy
to manufacture with the intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and
A preliminary hearing had not been scheduled as of Monday
Nanticoke police arrest
pair for drug possession
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
search warrant led police to arrest two men for drug possession.
police searched an apartment at 215 E. Ridge St. Tuesday around 4:45 p.m. after
a confidential informant contacted resident Justin Healey about a drug transaction.
Officers found Healey and Jeffrey Seiwell in the residence and detained them while
searching the home.
Police said they found 20 empty heroin bags in the garbage,
two hypodermic needles, two bags of heroin, a metal spoon with residue and empty
suboxone packages. Seiwell had five heroin bags and $700 in cash in his possession,
police said. Police also said they found $80 on Seiwell that had been used to
purchase heroin from him earlier that day.
Seiwell and Healey were taken to
county prison for overnight arraignment on charges of conspiracy to possess a
controlled substance, intent to deliver and related counts.
Three suspects arrested in alleged purse snatching
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
Police arrested two men and charged a third
for allegedly stealing the purse of a 72-year-old woman in a grocery store parking
lot last month.
Police said Justin Healey, 22, and Richard Vanorden, 39, both
of Nanticoke, and Johnathan Jonny Healey of Scranton conspired
to steal the womans purse on Nov. 30 in the Weis parking lot around 5:35
The woman told police that after finishing her shopping that night and
getting into her car, a man opened the front passenger door of her vehicle and
grabbed her purse. The man then ran away toward the Luzerne County Community College
and Geisinger buildings.
Investigators said the Healeys and Vanorden conspired
to steal from the woman. Johnathan Healey snatched the bag while Vanorden distracted
the victim, police said. Justin Healey and Vanorden were arrested on Tuesday and
taken to Luzerne County Correctional Facility for overnight arraignment. Police
issued a summons on theft charges for Johnathan Healey.
District attorneys office: Nanticoke man will enter plea in rape case
A Nanticoke man is set to plead to charges in
an alleged rape case after waiving his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, according
to the Luzerne County District Attorneys Office.
43, faces charges of rape, indecent deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated
assault. Charges of terroristic threats, unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment
He agreed to a plea agreement, Assistant District
Attorney Cara Solimine said. And we think that will be the next action in
According to a police report: A woman reported being ordered
around at knifepoint by Bates and forced into sexual acts. Bates threatened the
life of the woman and refused to allow her or her son to leave a residence.
District Judge Donald Whittaker changed the status of Bates bail from $250,000
straight bail to 10 percent of that figure. Despite the bail modification, Bates
remained at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Wednesday evening.
Shooting in Nanticoke early Thursday morning leaves one
A scuffle after a suspect
allegedly tried to break into a residence led to gunfire and one man being shot
early Thursday morning.
Chief Thomas Wall said officers responded to a residence
in the first block of Spring Street at 2:37 a.m. for a report of shots fired.
Wall said an investigation showed that the suspect, attempted to kick in the door
of the residence when an altercation ensued with the resident.
The alleged altercation spilled out into the street, where the suspect and the
victim began to fight. Wall said a gun was produced by the suspect, and two shots
were fired one hit the victim and the back and hit the residence, and the
second missed the victim but also hit the residence.
Wall said the victim
was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center for emergency surgery,
and is currently recovering. The condition of the victim is not currently available.
One of the slugs allegedly fired by suspect was recovered by a Pennsylvania State
Police R&I unit, and the firearm was found at the scene, according to Wall.
Wall also said officers are reviewing video cameras in the area and have conducted
interviews with witnesses.
Anyone with information on the alleged shooting
is asked to contact the Nanticoke Police Department at 570-735-2200.
Chilling details of prison guards killing revealed
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
Bob Kalinowski, staff writer, contributed to this story.
details revealed for the first time in a court filing Monday paint the slaying
of correctional officer Eric Williams as a cold, calculated episode and not a
sudden act of anger.
Midway through Williams brutal stabbing death,
gang assassin Jessie Con-ui paused his attack to walk to a shower, rinse a cut
on his hand and wrap the wound in a shirt before returning to continue stabbing
the guard in his face, head and upper body, prosecutors alleged in documents filed
When it was over, the convicted killer reached into Williams
pocket as the Nanticoke native lay dying in a pool of blood at U.S. Penitentiary
at Canaan and removed a piece of gum, then sat down to chew it, according to the
Con-ui, 39, is slated to stand trial in April over the February 2013
attack on Williams, who prosecutors say Con-ui kicked down a flight of stairs
before beating and slashing him to death with a pair of shanks because he was
angry over a cell search.
Con-uis attorneys have not disputed he was
responsible for the attack, which was caught on video. They are, however, fighting
prosecutors efforts to put Con-ui to death by arguing poor treatment by
prison guards caused him to snap.
As part of that effort, they are seeking
to prevent jurors from seeing the graphic and disturbing video, which
depicts an attack that lasts nine minutes and then shows Williams lying barely
alive for 22 more minutes until other guards arrive on the scene.
in a filing Monday, prosecutors say they have the right to present the evidence
they choose and that only the video as well as another video of the cell
search and contraband seizure that Con-ui claims led to the stabbing will
convey to jurors the brutality of the attack.
All of the evidence that
the defendant seeks to exclude is the strongest evidence linking Con-ui to the
murder, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorneys Office wrote. The
fact that the defendants attack was brutal and vicious should not act as
an evidentiary shield that protects him from the truth.
father, Don, said the family had already been informed about the disturbing contents
of the video. He said the defenses attempt to keep the footage out of trial
Its a major piece of evidence, he
said. It not only shows the murder, but shows the savagery and brutality
of the murder.
According to a synopsis of the video included in the
filing, the recording captures Con-ui lying in wait on the second
floor of the cell block, already armed with the shanks he uses in the attack.
Con-ui watches Williams walk toward the stairs, then heads toward the guard in
a casual and unthreatening manner before delivering a surprise kick
to Williams face, knocking him down the stairs, prosecutors wrote.
then frantically chases after Williams to stop him from calling for
help, pinning Williams to the ground and taking his radio away, prosecutors said.
Con-ui proceeds to repeatedly hit and stab Williams in the face, head and upper
body, cutting his own hand in the process, the filing says.
Con-ui walks over
to a shower to wash the wound, which he then wraps in his own shirt, before returning
to continue stabbing Williams, prosecutors say.
The video, which is black-and-white,
shows Con-ui stomping on and kicking a defenseless and prostrate Williams,
as well as slamming his head on the concrete floor, prosecutors say.
Con-ui took some gum from Williams pocket and sat down at a table to chew
a stick as Williams lay on the floor dying after being stabbed more than 200 times,
according to the filing.
After throwing Williams radio at the guards
head and once more kicking him in the face, Con-ui returns to his cell and closes
the door, according to prosecutors.
The video goes on to show other officers
finding Williams lying in a pool of blood and following the blood trail to Con-uis
cell door, prosecutors said.
Showing the video, prosecutors argue, will back-up
the testimony of other officers who heard Con-uis admissions and asserted
justifications for the attack on Williams.
A federal judge has not yet
ruled on the defense motion related to the video.
Con-uis defense is
also seeking to reduce the number of aggravating factors prosecutors can cite
when seeking the death penalty and to limit victim-impact evidence only to members
of Williams family.
Prosecutors counter in the filing Monday that court
rules do not limit victim-impact statements to family and that the aggravating
factors they are seeking to cite are proper.
They are seeking to portray Con-ui
as a dangerous criminal who, as part of his initiation into the Arizona Mexican
Mafia, lured a gang member who had fallen out of favor with gang leadership to
a Phoenix laundromat in 2002 and shot him four times in the head.
violent past also includes attacks on other inmates and participation in a conspiracy
to commit multiple murders, including that of a law enforcement officer
in 2003, prosecutors say.
In 2009, Con-ui threatened another guard at U.S.
Penitentiary Victorville, in California, telling a guard who searched his cell
to watch who you are (expletive) with, before you get hurt, according
Con-ui remains imprisoned at ADX Florence, the supermaximum
security prison in Colorado where he is serving 25 years to life for the 2002
Police arrested two people wanted by the Nanticoke Police
Department around 11:11 a.m. on Sunday in the CVS parking lot. Raymond Delaney,
26, of Shickshinny, and Lacey Hules, 26, of Nanticoke, were both wanted on drug
charges, police said. They were transferred into the custody of the Nanticoke
City Police Department.
police: Woman alerted bystanders to robbery by honking car horn
Times Leader staff
City police are asking residents to be especially cautious
while shopping during the holiday season, noting a woman was robbed outside a
store Wednesday evening.
A 72-year-old city resident reported to police that
after she finished grocery shopping at the Weis supermarket, 1 Weis Plaza, a man
opened the front passenger door of her vehicle and grabbed her purse.
described the suspect as a white man, of average height, thin, and wearing a ball
cap and jacket with a Pittsburgh Steelers logo. The suspect ran toward the nearby
Luzerne County Community College and Geisinger buildings.
The woman alerted
bystanders by honking her car horn.
Police ask that anyone who observed the
man in the area, or who may have knowledge of his identity, contact detectives
at 570-735-2200, ext. 216.
man assaulted female relative
Sarah Scinto - Citizens Voice
city man who was previously charged with rape assaulted a female relative by making
sexual advances on her despite her refusals, police said.
Glynn A. Wildoner
faces charges of indecent assault and solicitation after police said he went to
a female relatives apartment on Friday around 4 p.m. and tried to have sex
with her against her wishes. Police said he told the alleged victim rape charges
against him from a June 16 arrest involving two minors were recently dropped before
his sexual advances started.
The Citizens Voice does not identify victims
of sexual assault.
The alleged victim said Wildoner put his hands down her
pants several times despite her yelling at him to stop. She told police she had
to physically remove Wildoners hand from her pants at which point Wildoner
offered her $100 for sex. She made an excuse to get away from Wildoner and contacted
authorities, police said.
Wildoner was out on bail from the June 16 arrest,
police said. In that case, he is facing child rape charges alleging he forced
himself on a 14-year-old girl and tried to have sex with the girls sister.
He was arraigned on Friday before Magisterial District Judge Whittaker and sent
to Luzerne County Prison to await a preliminary hearing.
Judge rules Nanticoke man qualifies as a sexually
James Halpin -
A Nanticoke man convicted of abducting complete
strangers and bringing them to remote cemeteries, where he raped them at knife-point,
qualifies as a sexually violent predator, a judge ruled Thursday.
Foschini, 27, of 328 W. Main St., Nanticoke, previously pleaded guilty to charges
of aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape in three cases, including for shooting
a prostitute in the head and snatching up two other women he drove to secluded
Plymouth Township cemeteries before brutally raping them.
In my 15 years
of doing this job, Mr. Foschini is without question the most dangerous individual
Ive ever had to prosecute, Assistant District Attorney Nancy Violi
said after the hearing. I think that theres no question that he absolutely
is a sexually violent predator.
The designation will impact the type
of sex-offender treatment Foschini receives and the notification the community
receives when he is eventually released after serving his 24- to 48-year prison
sentence, she said.
Police caught Foschini after a prostitute was shot in
the head Dec. 12, 2014. The woman survived and told police Foschini picked her
up at Academy Street and Carey Avenue and drove her to an abandoned building on
Willow Street, where they got into an argument about money. During the fight,
Foschini kicked her out of his car and shot her in the head, according to prosecutors.
After arresting Foschini, police collected his DNA, which would later come back
as a match for two unsolved rapes.
In the first, Foschini pulled a knife and
kidnapped a woman from Carey Avenue in Wilkes-Barre and drove to Exaltation of
the Holy Cross and St. Josephs Cemetery in Plymouth Township, where he raped
her, according to prosecutors.
Foschini was also charged in a second cold-case
sexual assault from Nov. 16, 2012, in which he lured a woman he saw on Academy
Street in Wilkes-Barre into his SUV with an offer to smoke marijuana. Instead,
Foschini locked her in the car and drove to Ebert Cemetery in Plymouth Township,
where he held a knife to the woman while he raped her in the back seat.
DNA also matched a third unsolved sexual assault case, but the victim declined
to testify in that case, prosecutors said.
During a hearing Thursday, Paula
Brust, a member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, testified
that she did not believe Foschini could ever be rehabilitated.
shown a pattern of behavior of violent crimes, Brust said, noting that personality
disorders generally appear in early adulthood. I do believe this is a chronic,
lifetime disorder for Mr. Foschini.
Defense attorney Janan Tallo argued
that Foschini was a young man at the time of the crimes and said she believed
he could eventually see the error of his ways and change.
County Judge David W. Lupas, however, sided with the prosecution and concluded
Foschini suffers from a mental abnormality that qualifies him as a
sexually violent predator.
His behavior is predatory in nature,
The judge ordered Foschini to be returned to State Correctional
Institution Retreat as soon as possible to continue serving his sentence.
Police seek shoplifter wearing Nanticoke sweatshirt
COURTESY OF STATE POLICE
Authorities are looking for two people they
say stole items from Cabelas in Tilden Township on Oct. 9.
License: N/A, Created: 2016:10:14 12:25:56COURTESY OF STATE POLICE
TWP. State police in Berks County are searching for a retail theft suspect
with possible ties to Luzerne County.A man wearing a sweatshirt that read Nanticoke
Football is one of four people who stole items from the Cabelas retail
store in Tilden Township near Hamburg at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, according
to state police at Hamburg.
Store security officers attempted to apprehend
the man and his accomplices but they drove off in a white Chevrolet Blazer that
was later found abandoned in a nearby parking lot with stolen items inside the
vehicle, police said.
Police on Wednesday released surveillance video footage
of the man and a woman who is also suspected in the alleged crime.
with information is asked to contact Trooper Brian Cipko, PSP-Hamburg Criminal
Investigations Unit, at 610-562- 6885.
Nanticoke man facing multiple charges after alleged rape
A city man attacked and raped a woman
at knifepoint over the weekend, police said.
Christopher Bates, 43, of Nanticoke,
faces charges of rape, terroristic threats, false imprisonment and harassment
after an alleged victim reported he forced her to have sex with him and threatened
her with a knife early Saturday morning.
The Citizens Voice does not
identify victims of sexual assault.
According to arrest papers, Bates went
after the woman while she was sleeping around 2 a.m. on Saturday and punched her
in the face. Once she woke up, police said Bates duct taped her mouth shut. When
she struggled, police said Bates pulled out a knife.
Bates forced the alleged
victim into the bathroom and made her strip off her clothes and have sex with
him. Police said he made her stay naked afterward and threatened to slash her
throat with the knife.
After Bates forced her into sex again, police said
Bates offered her three options he would either kill her, kill himself
or let her leave with her son. Police said Bates then held the knife to the alleged
victims genital area.
Bates forced the woman into sex a third time before
allowing her to get dressed, police said. He then refused to let her out of the
bedroom, according to arrest papers.
Police said Bates eventually allowed
the woman and her son to go downstairs but would not let them leave the house.
Bates then packed his belongings and left, police said.
A preliminary was
scheduled for Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker,
according to arrest papers.
warrant leads to three suspects facing drug charges
A search warrant executed by police and members of the Luzerne County Drug
Task Force resulted in three arrests.
Marie McDaniels, 34, Nicholas McManus,
21, and Celso Sanchez, 24, all of Nanticoke, are all facing a slew of charges
after investigators served the warrant at a residence at 1 Rock St. in Glen Lyon.
Officials said the warrant was executed at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday. Along
with members of the Drug Task Force, police from Newport Township and Nanticoke
As a result of the search, investigators allegedly found a digital
scale, $175 in cash, an assortment of drug paraphernalia, 39 white bags containing
suspected heroin and brass knuckles.
McDaniels is charged with one count each
of possession with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy, three counts of
possession of a controlled substance, four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia
and one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana.
McManus is charged
with one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance,
criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a small
amount of marijuana and four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
is charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled
substance, criminal conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and four
counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Court documents indicate the suspects
were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Michael Dotzel Thursday, and
are scheduled for preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Donald
Whittaker at 1:15 p.m. Nov. 30.
McDaniels, McManus and Sanchez were each jailed
at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of bail. A photo of McDaniels
was not immediately available.
accused in ambulance theft, assault sentenced
A teen accused of assaulting a man with a brick then leading police on
a chase in a stolen ambulance last year was sentenced to two years probation after
pleading no contest Friday to some of the charges.
Destiny Noella McNeil,
19, of Nanticoke, entered the plea on a single felony count each of theft, fleeing,
and simple assault. Twelve additional charges, including two counts of aggravated
assault, were withdrawn in exchange for her plea, court record show.
was immediately sentenced to serve two years probation under supervision of the
Luzerne County Specialty Court team, which monitors and treats otherwise prison-bound
offenders with documented mental health illnesses.
Dr. Matthew Berger testified at a hearing in July that McNeil suffers from auditory
and visual hallucinations that caused her to believe she saw demon shadows,
factors that led him to diagnose her with schizophrenia.
Berger had indicated
the voices in her head had subdued, but mild paranoid thoughts
Prosecutors say McNeil on Sept. 4, 2015, struck Timothy Yatsko with
a brick on East State Street, Nanticoke, before fleeing in an ambulance parked
about a block away. The girl allegedly led police on a pursuit and eventually
crashed the emergency vehicle in Laurel Run, causing damage along the way.
McNeil was ordered to pay $45,116 in restitution to insurer Gladfelter Claims
Management. She is to have no contact with Yatsko.
According to the affidavit,
McNeil hit Yatsko hard enough to cause him to fall to the ground. The teen then
fled in the emergency vehicle, hitting two parked cars on East State Street before
making her way to Route 29 and eventually Interstate 81 north.
made her way to Route 309, pursued by both Nanticoke and Wilkes-Barre Township
police, where she struck a township cruiser near the border between Wilkes-Barre
Township and Laurel Run, the affidavit says.
While being pursued, McNeil,
who was driving without a license, crashed on Northampton Street in Laurel Run.
Wilkes-Barre Township Patrolman Robert Capparell said she eventually spun
out, realizing she didnt have anywhere to go. She was then apprehended
Wilkes-Barre man allegedly lied while trying to buy gun
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
A Wilkes-Barre man is charged
with making a straw purchase of a firearm from a Nanticoke gun shop, according
to the U.S. Attorneys Office.Z
Ruben Rosario, 19, is charged with making
false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
that Rosario lied while trying to buy a gun from Piestraks Gun Shop in Nanticoke
on April 5. Rosario has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and will plead
guilty at a later date, prosecutors said.
Rosario faces a maximum sentence
of 10 years in prison and a fine, prosecutors said.
armed robbery case headed to higher court, 1 suspect still at large
A man who allegedly confessed
to robbing a convenience store in February to feed his heroin addiction waived
armed robbery and other charges to higher court Wednesday, while his alleged accomplice
remains at large.
John Kania III, 23, of Hanover Township, appeared before
District Judge Donald Whittaker for a preliminary hearing on three felony counts
of robbery, a felony count of conspiracy, and one misdemeanor count each of simple
assault, terroristic threats and theft by unlawful taking.
Two robbery counts
and the terroristic threat charge were withdrawn, and the remaining charges were
forwarded to Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
According to court papers,
Nanticoke police investigated the report of a robbery at the Turkey Hill Minit
Mart at 460 W. Main St. that occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 15. The clerk told
police a man walked into the store completely bundled up and almost
immediately pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and demanded all the
money or else.
The clerk told police the man ran from the store toward
Alden Road, adding that the man appeared to be disturbed or under the influence
of something. The clerk told police he was in fear for his life.
Responding officers observed footprints in the snow, which they followed to the
north side of West Union Street, just before a dirt alley, and crossed the road
to a spot from which it appeared a vehicle recently pulled away.
On July 23,
Nanticoke Detective Capt. Robert Lehman received a call from Kingston police officer
Robert Miller, who told him he had intelligence that Kania and Daniel Blessing
were involved in a recent robbery at a Nanticoke convenience store.
asked Miller, with whom he worked previously on other investigations, for assistance,
and Kania allegedly agreed to a videotaped interview with Miller at the Kingston
In the interview, Kania allegedly confessed to the armed
robbery, which he planned with Blessing. Kania said the two planned to use the
stolen money to buy heroin. Kania allegedly said Blessing parked his car on a
roadway off Alden Road while Kania went and robbed the store.
told police he received about $120 from the store clerk, and he and Blessing split
the money and used it to buy heroin, which they then used.
Kania was arraigned
before Whittaker and has been in jail awaiting his preliminary hearing since August.
Whittaker set his bail at $75,000, and Kania was returned to the Luzerne County
Correctional Facility to wait his formal arraignment before Luzerne County Judge
Tina Polachek Gartley at 10 a.m. Jan. 5.
Following Wednesdays hearing,
Lehman said Blessing, 22, of Mountain Top, remains at large. He is believed to
be in the Philadelphia area, Lehman said.
Anyone with information on Blessings
whereabouts is asked to contact Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200.
Former Wyoming Valley Country Club general manager pleads guilty to theft
The former manager of the Wyoming Valley Country
Club in Hanover Township pleaded guilty Friday in Luzerne County Court to stealing
funds from the private golf course.
Randy Park, 39, of Sunset View Drive,
Nanticoke, entered the plea to a single count of theft before Luzerne County Judge
Michael T. Vough. The judge ordered the former club general manager to pay $30,000
State police said Park made unauthorized transactions in excess
of $2,000 between January 2013 and December 2014 via a debit card no one at the
club knew he had obtained, as well as through cash withdrawals, checks written
to himself and failure to pay for medical insurance.
Park, hired in 2012 at
$80,000 per year, was suspended in 2014 following an internal audit and terminated
Jan. 23, 2015.
Park was ordered to have no contact with the club. He is scheduled
to be sentenced Dec. 20.
W-B man charged
in theft from Nanticoke high school
arrested a Wilkes-Barre man on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in a 2015
burglary at Greater Nanticoke Area High School.
Wilkes-Barre City police apprehended
Alberto Carlos Matias on Wednesday after a previously arrested juvenile named
Matias as his co-conspirator, in the robbery of more than $5,000 in
cash, a computer, an overhead projector and several checks from the high school
in January 2015, according to a criminal complaint.
The juvenile told police
that Matias called him on January 26, 2015 and asked if he wanted to make $800.
The juvenile agreed and Matias picked him up near his home. In the car, Matias
said they were going to rob Nanticoke High School, according to police.
After stopping at Matiass home for supplies, the juvenile said the pair
walked to the high school from a nearby CVS parking lot. Police said Matias directed
the juvenile to break into the window of Room 112 and retrieve a lockbox from
the cabinet. They used a drill to break the window, went inside and retrieved
the lockbox containing a few hundred dollars in bank checks.
said Matias broke into a second room and took envelopes of cash from a teachers
desk and a laptop computer. Police said the same classroom was burglarized the
next day and an overhead projector was dismantled from the ceiling.
was charged with burglary, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, corruption
of minors and related counts.
He was being held in Luzerne County Correctional
Facility in lieu of $250,000 bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for
1 p.m. Sept. 14 before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Couple charged with leaving two kids alone in car at
City police on Wednesday
charged a Mountain Top couple with child endangerment for allegedly leaving their
children alone in a car in front of a Nanticoke gym.
Police allege that Molly
ONeill, 35, and Daniel Johnson, 36, left a 5-month-old girl and an 11-year-old
boy in a car outside Nanticoke Fitness Center as the couple worked out on the
night of June 29.
Officers responding to an anonymous tip found the infant
asleep in a car seat and the 11-year-old boy playing with an iPad, with the car
doors locked, according to a criminal complaint filed by Nanticoke police.
They coaxed the boy to open a car door, which set off an alarm. He said his mother,
ONeill, was exercising in the gym, the complaint states.
told police that she left her infant daughter in the care of her son while she
worked out, and she had rigged the car doors so an alarm would sound if they opened,
according to the complaint.
Police contacted Luzerne County Children and Youth
Services, and a caseworker interviewed ONeill and Johnson the father
of the infant on July 7, the complaint states. They said they went to the
gym together and left the children in the car for about 10 minutes
while they exercised, the complaint states.
Police interviewed the boy, who
said his mother has left him alone in the car to care for the baby several times,
at the gym or supermarket, according to the complaint.
The boys natural
father told police his son had been left alone to care for the infant at least
twice. He also said his son had been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome,
a form of autism, the complaint states.
ONeill and Johnson, both of
the Valley Stream Park development, were charged with endangering the welfare
of children, a first-degree misdemeanor.
They were arraigned Wednesday before
Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker and released on $25,000 unsecured
bail, pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 7 before Whittaker.
Bob Kalinowski, staff writer, contributed to this report.
K-9 Vice Has Died
It is with deep regret that the members of the Nanticoke
City Police Department announce the unexpected passing of our K-9 partner Vice.
He will be truely missed by all.
Police Chief William Shultz has died
offered condolences and prayers on social media Wednesday evening after hearing
of the passing of police Chief William Shultz.
In a post on its Facebook page,
the Nanticoke Police Department announced the death of Shultz, who passed away
Wednesday morning after battling pancreatic cancer.
According to the post,
Shultz had been a police officer since 1973, when he joined the Plymouth Township
Police Department. He was hired by Nanticoke in 1990 and was appointed chief in
Comments on the post called the chief a gentleman and a friend.
People thanked Shultz for his service, calling him a cops cop
and an all around good guy.
Funeral arrangements and an obituary
have not yet been released.
police chief dies
As the citys
top cop, police Chief William Shultz continued serving as a lead investigator
for the citys most notable cases and hit the streets alongside younger officers
to battle crime.
He insisted on that. It was welcomed because of his
42 years of experience. He was a cop first, and an administrator second, but they
both complemented each other, Nanticoke police Capt. Robert Lehman recalled
That leadership and mentoring will be missed, colleagues say, as
Shultz died Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 61.
Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Shultz played an active role in steering
the department forward and worked until he could work no more, they say.
had the weight of the citizens on his shoulders here. They came first, Lehman
Shultz served as Nanticoke police chief since June 2012, and was in
his 26th year of service to the department. Prior to being hired by Nanticoke
in 1990, Shultz served in the Plymouth Township Police Department for 16 years,
including nine years as chief.
Lehman said he often turned to Shultz for help
when he assumed Shultzs former position as Plymouth Township police chief
in 1995, a post he held until the department disbanded in 2004.
from the area when I was hired there. He sort of was my mentor. He was right across
the river. He was my go-to guy. He was vital to every investigation I had over
there. I was the youngest police chief in the county at the time. I was 26,
Lehman would later follow Shultz to Nanticokes police force
He was a father figure to his peers and the new guys who came
aboard, Lehman said. He was sick for a long time, but its still
The mood around the department and city was somber
and solemn over the loss of the longtime public servant, Lehman said.
Mayor Richard Wiaterowski said he would miss Shultz not only as a police chief,
but as a friend.
Its a sad day for the police department and the
city of Nanticoke, he said.
Wiaterowski recalled how Shultz would often
stop into his office and settle into a reclining chair for long chats about the
department and other, more personal matters. Hed put his feet up, showing
off his cowboy boots, and would always wear his famous fedora hat,
the mayor said
Im going to miss him sitting in that chair,
Shultz served as chief of police since 2012 and Wiaterowski
took office in 2014. The mayor said Shultz will leave behind an example of a hands-on
Hed eat, sleep and drink police work, Wiaterowski
said. He was very fair. He would take a phone call any time of the night.
Those are the things that I think are going to be his legacy.
County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said she had been in regular contact
with Shultz and his family during his battle with cancer. She said he will be
remembered as a man with two loves in life: his family and his police work.
He was very passionate about his job. He loved being chief. Every time you
spoke to him, it just showed, Salavantis said. That community has
lost an amazing man. Its very emotional for everybody. We lost a good guy.
He was just a big part of our law enforcement family. He will be greatly missed.
Police seek assistance in locating co-conspirator in
armed robbery case
Township man wanted in connection with an armed robbery of Turkey Hill Minit Mart,
West Main Street, Nanticoke on February 15, was arrested on Friday evening.
John Kania, 22, was arraigned before District Judge Donald Whittaker and remanded
to Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $150,000 bail.
hearing is scheduled for August 10.
City detectives were assisted by Kingston
Borough Police Department in the investigation.
Kanias alleged co-conspirator
Daniel Blessing, 22, remains at large.
Police are requesting anyone with information
about Blessings whereabouts to contact Nanticoke City Detectives at
570-735-2200, etc. 206.
police make arrests in two armed robbery cases
Eric Mark - Citizens
City police have announced arrests in two armed robbery cases in
Police on Friday charged Joshua Ruchinski, of West Nanticoke, with
robbery, theft and simple assault. Ruchinski robbed a Shickshinny man he met for
a purported sale of comic books on Thursday, police allege.
The alleged victim
told police that Ruchinski pulled out a knife and demanded money as the two men
sat in a car parked in front of a Slope Street home where Ruchinski said the comic
books were stored, police said in a criminal complaint.
When the man resisted,
Ruchinski pulled out a gun and again demanded money, according to the complaint.
The man continued to resist, so Ruchinski grabbed the mans car keys and
cellphone and ran off, the complaint states.
Ruchinski, 26, was arraigned
before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker and sent to Luzerne County
Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled
Police also charged John Kania III, 23, of Hanover Township,
with robbery, terroristic threats, theft and simple assault in connection with
the armed robbery of the Turkey Hill Minit Market on West Main Street on Feb.
Kania walked into the store, pulled out a switchblade knife and demanded
cash from a cashier, police allege.
Kania confessed to the crime when police
interviewed him in late July after receiving a tip from Kingston police that Kania
might have been involved in the robbery, according to a criminal complaint. Kania
said he had a serious heroin addiction at the time and robbed the store to get
money to buy the drug, the complaint states.
He was arraigned before Whittaker
and sent to Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 bail. A preliminary
hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
nab suspected drug dealer in Nanticoke
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
Police raided a city home and arrested an alleged drug dealer Thursday.
Police officers from Nanticoke, Wilkes-Barre and Kingston as well as the Luzerne
County Drug Task Force and the state Attorney Generals Office executed a
search warrant at 263 State St. in Nanticoke on Thursday, according to police.
Officers found Robert Dixon III, as well as his girlfriend and a child in the
home, police said. The woman and child were released.
According to police,
Dixon told officers that all of the drugs in the house were his, and that there
was a handgun in his bedroom that belonged to someone else.
numerous bags of suspected cocaine and marijuana, water bongs, marijuana pipes
and a digital scale during the search, according to police. They also located
the handgun Dixon had mentioned and found it was loaded, police said.
28, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance,
possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker and sent to
Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.
hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10 before Whittaker.
police seek suspect in armed robbery
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
A West Nanticoke man robbed a man when the two met to buy and sell comic
books on Thursday, according to Nanticoke police.
A Shickshinny man told police
he drove to Nanticoke on Thursday afternoon to buy comic books from a man he knew
as Josh, police said. The man said he and Josh connected
through Craigslist, a classified advertisements website.
Josh as Joshua Ruchinski, 26.
The man said he met Ruchinski in
a convenience store parking lot. Ruchinski got into the mans vehicle and
asked him to drive to a Slope Street home where he said the comic books were stored,
according to police.
When the men reached the home, Ruchinski pulled out a
knife and demanded the man hand over cash, police said. The Shickshinny man resisted,
suffering a cut on his hand. Ruchinski then pulled out a handgun and again demanded
money, but the man continued to resist, according to police.
the mans cellphone and car keys before running away, police said.
victim received injuries to his left hand and neck.
Ruchinski is described
as a white male, 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, with a tattoo on the left side of
Anyone with information about Ruchinski is asked to call Nanticoke
police at 570-735-2200 or dial 911. Ruchinski should not be approached as he is
considered armed and dangerous, police said.
seek transfer of teen accused of stealing ambulance to jail
Halpin - Citizens Voice
The teen charged as an adult with hitting a man
with a brick and stealing an ambulance should be housed along with other alleged
adult offenders at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, county prosecutors
Destiny McNeil, 18, is charged with aggravated assault and
other offenses after allegedly smashing a brick into the back of the neck of an
unsuspecting victim and then stealing an ambulance, which she used to lead authorities
on a high-speed chase through crowded streets before police ran her off the road.
Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley on Friday rejected a defense motion
to have McNeil who has a troubled past and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia
tried in juvenile court. The judge noted in her ruling that McNeil has
had numerous chances to get better, yet she continues to offend in violent ways.
In a motion filed Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips seeks
to have McNeil transferred from the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center
where she has been held with bail set at $25,000 to the county jail
The transfer would be consistent with Gartleys recent order, Phillips
After striking the man with a brick, McNeil is accused of stealing
an ambulance parked on East State Street in Nanticoke in September while its crew
was inside a home helping a patient.
McNeil then sped off, driving erratically
and hitting parked cars in a neighborhood crowded with children, according to
After leading officers on a chase, police eventually forced her
off the road in the foothills of Giants Despair in Laurel Run, prosecutors
A trial date for McNeil has not been set.
accused of stealing ambulance will be tried as an adult
- Citizens Voice
Citing an extensive history of delinquency, behavioral
issues and mental health problems, a county judge has ruled a Nanticoke teen accused
of hitting a man with a brick and stealing an ambulance will stand trial as an
In an 18-page opinion distributed Tuesday, Luzerne County Judge Tina
Polachek Gartley ruled Destiny McNeil, now 18, will stand trial as an adult on
aggravated assault and theft charges alleging she hit a man on the back of the
neck with a brick before stealing an ambulance parked on East State Street in
Nanticoke in September while its crew was inside a home helping a patient.
Her attorneys sought to have the case tried in juvenile court, arguing that she
was hospitalized the day before the theft because she was experiencing bizarre
hallucinations, hearing voices and engaging in unsafe behaviors.
however, fought to try McNeil, a repeat offender with a history of disciplinary
issues, as an adult.
In her ruling, Gartley noted that McNeils actions
endangered the community and that she was able to describe her actions articulately
and clearly to police after being caught.
The defendant has a
long history of mental health treatment and various diagnosis, ongoing criminal
behavior, school issues, placement write-ups all demonstrating a continued threat
to the community and the public that she will engage in behavior similar in nature
in the future, Gartley wrote.
During a hearing last month, Dr. Matthew
A. Berger testified for the defense that McNeil, who has paranoid schizophrenia,
should remain in the juvenile system so she could get the best treatment options.
However, he was unfamiliar with the treatment options in either the adult or juvenile
systems, the judge noted in her opinion.
But a prosecution expert psychologist,
Steven E. Samuel, testified that he while agreed McNeil suffers from paranoid
schizophrenia which can be treated by medication, her anti-social personality
disorder can not be treated. That, combined with her psychotic symptoms, puts
her at high risk of re-offending, he testified.
Samuel also argued there was
not adequate time to properly treat McNeil in the juvenile system and that State
Correctional Institution Muncy offers a program for youthful offenders that could
Gartleys opinion notes that McNeil has a history of juvenile delinquency
including offenses of arson, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, simple assault
and harassment. McNeil has been treated at a number of facilities, the judge wrote,
all to no avail.
Despite all McNeils prior treatment, she
is still accused of sneaking into a garage and bashing an unsuspecting man on
the back of the neck with a brick before stealing an ambulance, Gartley wrote.
Once in the vehicle, McNeil is accused of speeding erratically, hitting parked
cars in a neighborhood crowded with children and leading officers on a chase before
police eventually forced her off the road in the foothills of Giants Despair
in Laurel Run, according to the judge.
The judge found McNeil, who is now
an adult, deserves to be tried as one.
The dispositional alternatives
offered under the juvenile system, just over two years, are not sufficient to
provide the long term supervision that is required by the defendant that will
provide the necessary rehabilitation, Gartley wrote.
No trial date has
Dozens gather to support
law enforcement at Nanticoke vigil
As the sun began to set, it came time to light the candles on Patriot Square.
Dozens of people attending a vigil for fallen police officers Sunday night set
to work as a slow song played. Some produced lighters from their pockets and helped
those around them light thin white candles protected by cups encircled with a
blue and black ribbon.
The pinpricks of flame spread around the square as
those gathered shared a moment of silence at a vigil organized to honor fallen
officers in the local area and around the country in recent months.
so glad theyre having this, said 92-year-old Nanticoke resident Doris
Merrill. Its really needed.
Nanticoke resident Meagan Walters
organized the vigil because she wanted to give the community a chance to show
their support of their police departments and officers.
Right now our
police officers are very down on themselves, she said. They needed
Walters said interest in the vigil grew as soon
as the community got wind of what she was planning.
When the community
found out, everybody got behind it, she said.
Nearly 100 people made
their way to Patriot Square to stand with their neighbors and hold a candle while
local church leaders led prayers for law enforcement.
Denise Sopko of Nanticoke
came to the vigil to support the officers she said she sees in the Nanticoke community
Its about community, she said. Without
a police department, we dont have a community ... we have a great team here.
Rebecca Seman of Nanticoke hoped Sundays vigil, with city residents rallying
around law enforcement, would set an example for other communities.
look at this place, she said, gesturing toward the crowd.
Nanticoke police seek information about Meadowcrest Drive
Police are seeking information regarding
a robbery that took place in the 100 block of Meadowcrest Drive the night of July
According to a police report:
At approximately 11:30 p.m., a man parked
his car when returning to his home and was met by two white men in his driveway.
The two men, one of which possessed a larger kitchen-type knife, immediately assaulted
him, at which time the man received cuts on his leg. Afterward, and during a second
short struggle, one of the suspects stole $420 from the man.
After the robbery,
both men ran southwest toward the Hanover Section of Nanticoke City.
men are described as white and of average height and build. One of the men had
medium-length brown hair. Both men were wearing shorts and one was wearing a sweatshirt.
The knife was described as a silver kitchen-type knife, about seven to 10 inches
During the course of the investigation, detectives came to the conclusion
the robbery was not a random act.
City police ask anyone with information
about the robbery to contact Nanticoke City Detectives at 570-735-2200 ext. 206.
Warrior Run man accused of violating
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
A Warrior Run man is accused of violating a restraining order after showing
up drunk at a his ex-girlfriends house and trying to get some children there
to leave with him, according to police.
Vernon L. Lundin, 41, of 369 Hanover
St., is charged with a single misdemeanor count of violating a protection-from-abuse
Nanticoke police allege he arrived at a home at 224 E. Church St. about
10:05 p.m. Saturday drunk and telling the children there to get their blankets
so they could spend the night with him. His ex-girlfriend, Justina Lee, refused
to let the children leave with Lundin, who began arguing with her and called her
a whore, according to police.
Lee reported that Lundin had been
texting her all week saying he loves her and wanted to work things out, police
Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker arraigned Lundin on Sunday
and ordered him jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with bail set
Nanticoke man faces
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
city man is facing aggravated assault charges after allegedly choking a woman
during a domestic dispute early Friday, according to police.
Hoover, 44, of 304 E. Church St., is accused of threatening in front of
police to kill the woman and another person present during the altercation.
According to a police affidavit, officers were dispatched to 18 E. Broad St. at
about 1:40 a.m. to a report of a domestic fight. Officers arrived to find Michele
Yaskiewicz screaming for them to remove Hoover from the property.
Hoover came to the apartment in an attempt to get his house key back from Yaskiewicz
and instead got into a dispute with her. Hoover began choking Yaskiewicz before
punching her on the left side of the face, according to police.
then bit Hoovers left ear in self-defense causing it to bleed, police said.
Hoover threatened to kill Yaskiewicz throughout the ordeal and told officers he
planned to kill Yaskiewicz and the homes resident when he gets out of jail,
according to police.
Police charged Hoover with aggravated assault, attempted
simple assault, making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment.
Magisterial District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr. arraigned Hoover on Friday
morning and ordered him jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with
bail set at $100,000.
A preliminary hearing was set for July 27.
Police arrest five in connection with thefts in Nanticoke,
Five people have
been charged in connection with a string of thefts in Nanticoke and Hanover Township.
City police say surveillance footage identified Tyler Jonathan Williams, 19, of
Wilkes-Barre Township, and Donald Jason Kinney, 19, of Newport Township, as the
individuals who burglarized a residence in the 300 block of East Washington Street
on July 10.
The stolen property from the 300 block of East Washington Street
was later recovered in the 200 block of Welles Street, police said.
say the Welles Street home also contained property from five other burglaries,
including three at Parkway Storage, Hanover Township, a construction site on Dundee
Road, Hanover Township, and a home on East Ridge Street, Nanticoke.
search warrant served at 206 Welles St. in Nanticoke, resulted in the seizure
of cash, marijuana and a stolen handgun, as well as the arrest of three people:
Jaime Saldana, 37, for burglary and related offenses, including receiving
Barbara Saldana, 43, for receiving stolen property.
Jaime Saldana Jr., 19, for drug related offenses, including possession
with the intent to deliver.
The three Saldanas were arraigned with both males
being incarcerated for lack of $150,000 cash bail. Barbara was released on $15,000
Williams was arraigned and incarcerated for lack of $25,000 cash bail.
Kinney was incarcerated for lack of $75,000 cash bail.
are scheduled for Aug. 17 in front of District Judge Donald Whittaker.
say the investigation is ongoing and that they expect to make other arrests.
Prosecutors seek to have teen charged in ambulance theft
tried as an adult
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
prosecutors are seeking to limit a psychiatrists testimony at an upcoming
hearing to determine whether a Nanticoke teen charged with attacking a man with
a brick and stealing an ambulance will be tried as an adult.
In a filing Thursday,
Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips argues that a report Kingston-based
Dr. Richard Fischbein authored about his findings after assessing Destiny McNeil
exceeds his expertise in some areas.
Phillips argues that the report indicates
Fischbein plans to explain that the impact of McNeils actions on the victims
is significant, although he has not evaluated them and is not qualified to offer
expertise in the area of victim impact. Fischbein is similarly not qualified to
discuss the impact on the community, and he incorrectly asserts in the report
that fortunately there was only one victim, Phillips wrote.
on the report, prosecutors also believe Fischbein will testify about an insanity
defense, she wrote. Such a theory would be improperly raised at a transfer hearing
and should be reserved for trial, Phillips argues.
The filing seeks a hearing
to determine the admissibility of the testimony Fischbein is expected to deliver
at the transfer hearing, which is set for Tuesday.
McNeil, who was 17 at the
time of the Sept. 4 incident, is charged as an adult with aggravated assault,
theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass and fleeing police in connection
with allegedly hitting a man on the back of the head with a brick in the 100 block
of East State Street in Nanticoke before stealing a Trans-Med ambulance.
leading police on a miles-long chase, McNeil was eventually forced off the road
by a police cruiser in the foothills of Giants Despair in Laurel Run.
Her attorneys, Cheryl A. Sobeski-Reedy and John Donovan, are seeking to have her
tried as a minor, arguing she has been diagnosed with a psychosis that has her
suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations.
man sentenced for sex with minor
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man who traveled to a Glen Lyon residence to have sex with a
15-year-old boy will spend at least five years in state prison.
61, of 1361 Hanover St., will serve five to 10 years in prison, Luzerne County
Judge Tina Polachek Gartley ruled.
Perugino was sentenced on a charge of involuntary
deviate sexual intercourse with a minor.
Police said the boys older
sister caught the two involved in sex acts in July 2015, and that the boys
older brother pinned Perugino down until Newport Township police arrived.
According to the criminal complaint, Perugino told police that he met the juvenile
male through an iPhone application called Hornet, which allows bisexual people
to interact online. The boy told police he invited Perugino to come to the house
for sex. Police said Perugino knew the boy was only 15 years old.
61 computers stolen from Nanticoke High School
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
Police are investigating a reported burglary
at Greater Nanticoke Area High School early Thursday morning during which 61 computers
Someone broke into two classrooms on the west side of the building
by breaking a classroom window, police said in a news release.
or suspects took 30 laptop computers from each classroom as well as one desktop
computer, police said. The total value of the stolen items was $30,750, according
The burglary happened overnight Wednesday into Thursday and was
reported at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, police said.
Officers recovered evidence
left at the crime scene, including an article of clothing and a pair of copper
pliers, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Nanticoke
police at 570-735-2200, ext. 206 or dial 911.
Over $30,000 in computers stolen from Greater Nanticoke High School
email@example.com - @TL_Kellar - 570-991-6389
Over $30,000 in
computers were stolen from Greater Nanticoke High School on Thursday, according
Police said that at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, officers were dispatched
to the school on Kosciuszko Street for a report of a burglary that happened sometime
Police said someone had broken into two separate classrooms by
breaking the classrooms windows, with 30 laptop computers taken from each
classroom. A desktop computer was also taken from one of the classrooms.
total value of the theft is $30,750, according to police.
several pieces of evidence from the scene, including a piece of clothing and a
pair of pliers.
Police said more information about the computers will be released
once an inventory is completed.
Police have asked anyone with information
is to contact the detectives at the Nanticoke City Police Department at 570-735-2200,
Nanticoke man charged
with sexually assaulting teen, attempting to assault another
Halpin - Citizens Voice
A city man is facing child rape charges alleging
he forced himself on a 14-year-old girl and tried to have sex with the girls
Glynn A. Wildoner Jr., 36, of 223 W. Union St., is charged with three
counts each of forcible rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual
assault, aggravated indecent assault and child endangerment, along with four counts
each of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and indecent assault.
According to a police affidavit, officers were dispatched to the East Noble Street
Apartments on Thursday afternoon to a report of a sexual assault. The girls
mother reported she unlocked her daughters bedroom door and found the teen
on the floor with her pants down and Wildoner on top of her.
The girl told
police she had been trying to take a nap when Wildoner woke her by putting his
hand over her mouth, saying stay the (expletive) down, according to
the affidavit. Wildoner forced himself on the teen, warning that he would hurt
her if she told anyone, police said.
When the girls mother came in,
Wildoner claimed the teen had been masturbating, police said.
The girl reported
that Wildoner had raped her before, also threatening to hurt her if she told anyone,
according to police.
The teens sister also reported that a few months
ago, Wildoner tried to pressure her into having sex but she refused and Wildoner
stopped, warning her not to tell anyone, police said.
Judge Joseph D. Zola arraigned Wildoner on Friday morning and ordered him jailed
with bail set at $100,000.
Wildoner was being held at the Luzerne County Correctional
Facility with a preliminary hearing set for June 29.
driver damages gate at LCCC
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
hit-and-run driver damaged a gate at Luzerne County Community College early Thursday
morning, according to Nanticoke police.Z
The incident happened at about 12:20
a.m. Thursday at the upper entrance to the community college on South Prospect
Street, police said in a news release.
Surveillance video footage indicates
that the driver of a Toyota Corolla traveling on South Prospect Street ran off
the road, struck a gate, then turned around and drove off, police said.
Corolla, from the 2003 to 2008 generation of the model, will likely have significant
front end damage, according to police.
Anyone with information about this
incident is asked to call Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200 or dial 911.
Nanticoke man charged with child rape
Bob Kalinowski - Citizens Voice
City police on Friday accused a man of
raping an 8-year-old girl multiple times.
Michael L. Sansone is facing charges
of rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child, aggravated
indecent assault of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, endangering the welfare
of children and corruption of minors.
Nanticoke police took the 29-year-old
into custody Friday morning and hauled him before Magisterial District Judge Donald
Whittaker for arraignment.
Whittaker ordered Sansone to be jailed in the Luzerne
County Correctional Facility. The judge set bail at $250,000.
say Sansone, last known to live on Broad Street in Nanticoke, had sexually assaulted
the girl several times in the past year.
Investigators say the girl recently
told a friend about the sexual abuse during a sleepover.
with authorities, the girl said Sansone forced himself on her several times and
tried to make her perform sex acts on him.
He warned her not to tell anyone,
arrest papers say.
At one point, the girls 10-year-old brother walked
in on Sansone having sex with the girl, police said.
Sansone ordered the boy
to leave the room and demanded that the boy keep it a secret, arrest
Later, Sansone approached the boy and offered to buy him two Lego
sets if he didnt tell anyone what he saw, police said.
hearing was set for June 8 at 1 p.m. in front of Whittaker.
Federal, state authorities raid Nanticoke business
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
Federal agents on Tuesday raided a sporting
goods store that was once implicated in the illegal sale of restricted weapons
overseas to buyers with connections to drug trafficking, espionage and terrorism.
Agents from Homeland Security and Pennsylvania State Police lined up nearly a
dozen sport utility vehicles outside D&R Sports Center at 620 Fairchild St.
on Tuesday morning. Agents were seen removing boxes marked evidence
as well as rifle cartridges from the store.
An official for the U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement confirmed a federal search warrant was being executed,
but declined further comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorneys Office
declined to comment.
Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, confirmed a criminal investigation was under way but declined to
Homeland Security Investigations special agents executed
a search warrant (Tuesday) in an ongoing criminal investigation, Walls said.
The documents related to the investigation are under seal in federal court
so we are unable to more elaborate at this time. Officers and agents with the
Pennsylvania State Police and the U.S. Department of Commerce were on scene (Tuesday)
and are assisting in the ongoing probe.
Federal agents previously raided
the business owned by Mark Komoroski, his brother and his father
in November 2006. In that instance, federal prosecutors alleged the business illegally
sold and shipped $247,854 of restricted items rifles and related devices
such as optics to Russia, Kuwait, Germany and Japan without required export
Court documents filed in that case alleged money transfers to D&R
for some purchases linked the store with companies and individuals that
the United States government has determined pose an unacceptable risk of being
involved with or providing ... support to international narcotics trafficking,
crimes against humanity/war crimes and/or terrorism.
for the search warrant in that case identified Russian gun runner Viktor Bout,
who helped provide weapons to Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, rebel groups in
Rwanda, and the Taliban.
Prosecutors in that case charged Komoroski, the business,
longtime customer Sergey Korznikov and his business, Tactica Ltd., with conspiracy
to defraud the U.S. According to federal prosecutors, the Moscow-based Tactica
Ltd. had an affiliation with an elite counterterrorism unit controlled by the
Russian Federal Security Service, formerly known as the KGB.
show Komoroski pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced in July 2010 to
32 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
who served his time at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, N.J.,
was released on Dec. 13, 2012.
Korznikov, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced
to six months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
District Judge Edwin M. Kosik dismissed the charges against both businesses, court
Following that incident, D&R lost its firearms license,
but remained open selling other items.
raid D&R Sports Center in Nanticoke
Federal customs agents and state law enforcement
personnel have raided a local sporting goods store first implicated more than
10 years ago in the illegal sale of military equipment to a Russian front company
alleged to have ties to an international arms dealer.
Officials at the scene
confirmed agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcements Homeland Security
Investigations are serving a search warrant at D&R Sports Center, located
at 620 Fairchild St., but referred further questions to the U.S. Attorneys
Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which declined to comment.
Pennsylvania State Police were also at the scene earlier in the day, but HSI agents
declined to say what other agencies were involved.
Investigators were seen
going in and out of the building, carrying bags and boxes clearly marked evidence.
At least one customer was turned away when he attempted to enter the business,
but officials did allow a UPS delivery person to enter the store.
At one point,
an elderly man entered the store and appeared to be upset. The man then appeared
to push one of the investigators while inside the store, and raised voices could
be heard for a short time. The man then left the store and declined to speak to
Previous run-ins with law
According to the Times Leaders
archives, Mark Komoroski, then the owner of D&R, was sentenced in 2010 to
32 months in federal prison for conspiring to illegally export military equipment,
including rifle scopes and face shields, to Russia. Komoroski later claimed on
appeal that he didnt know he was required to have a special license to export
the rifle scopes.
Komoroskis co-defendant, a Russian national named
Sergey Korznikov, was sentenced to six months in prison for his role in the alleged
D&R, which records state has exported about $2.5 million worth
of goods since June 2000, was the subject of a routine inspection in 2005 by officials
with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that stemmed from
an unrelated investigation into illegal firearms transactions.
officials discovered a purchase order for night vision and thermal-imaging devices
from a Moscow, Russia-based company that listed Korznikov as its president. Komoroski,
records show, related to officials that he believed the store had been doing business
with Russian Special Forces; business documents included the name
of a counter-terrorism unit controlled by the former KGB.
Several wire transfers
going into the business account were identified as coming from Rockman EOOD
and Ibrahim Hajji, both deemed excluded parties by the Office of Foreign Assets
Control, which enforces trade sanctions. Court documents indicate Rockman was
owned by Sergey Bout, brother of Russian arms dealer and former KGB major Victor
According to court documents, Victor Bout and his numerous shell
companies around Eastern Europe and the world were also identified as significant
participants in providing weapons to Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, rebel
groups in Rwanda and the Taliban.
A family business
Court records show
Mark Komoroski, 53, is the son of Donald Komoroski, who became a partner in the
business in 1958, a decade after the sporting goods wholesaler/retailer was founded.
Donald Komoroskis sons, Theodore and Mark Komoroski, managed store locations
in Bloomsburg and Nanticoke respectively, records show.
Court records indicate
ownership of the Nanticoke storefront was transferred in 2005 from Donald Komoroski
to Komoroski Realty.
According to Bureau of Prisons records, Mark Komoroski
was released from prison in December 2012. His wife, Lecia Komoroski, continued
to operate the business during his incarceration, according to published reports.
According to previous Times Leader reports, the business was forced to forfeit
its Federal Firearms License as a result of the criminal case.
Scam, burglary reported at Nanticoke home
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
City police warn residents to beware of
con artists posing as contractors after a burglary at a Nanticoke home on Friday.
A Welles Street homeowner told police that two men solicited him to seal his driveway
on Friday. After the men finished the work, they tried to triple the amount agreed
upon for the job, the homeowner said, according to a news release from Nanticoke
The homeowner paid the original price and then left his house for
about two hours, he said. When he returned he found that someone had burglarized
his home and stolen about $800 in cash, along with evidence to suggest that the
two men who sealed the driveway later broke into the home, police said.
suspects are described as Hispanic males about 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches
tall, with medium builds. They drove a white four-door pickup truck with equipment
to seal driveways in the truck bed.
The descriptions of the alleged con artists
and their vehicle match those of the suspects in a similar crime in West Pittston
on Thursday. Police did not state whether they believe the crimes are connected.
Nanticoke police advise city residents to turn away people who appear at their
homes to solicit work.
Contractors and anyone soliciting work in Nanticoke
must be registered with the city, police said.
Anyone with information about
Fridays burglary in Nanticoke is asked to call city police at 570-735-2200
or dial 911.
Hill robbed on Saturday
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
police report an armed robbery at a Nanticoke convenience store early Saturday
The robbery happened at 4:29 a.m. Saturday at the Turkey Hill Minit
Market on West Main Street, police said in a news release.
A store clerk reported
that a person who appeared to be female entered the store and demanded cash and
a pack of Newport 100 cigarettes. The suspect kept her hand in her pocket, indicating
she had a weapon, the clerk said.
After the clerk handed over cash and cigarettes,
the suspect fled the store in an unknown direction, police said.
was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pats, a white flat-brimmed hat, a
purple and white bandana, purple gloves and black shoes with white trim.
with information is asked to call Nanticoke police at 570-735-2200 or dial 911.
3 face burglary, stalking charges
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
Three men face burglary and stalking charges
after they allegedly threatened the family and damaged the vehicle of a man who
owed them money for a drug debt.
Ramon Antenioencavncion, 20, Enrique Bacilio,
19, and Alberto Matias, 20, all of Wilkes-Barre, were arraigned Tuesday on felony
counts of trespassing and criminal trespass and misdemeanor counts of stalking,
simple assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
The three went to a home on Apollo Circle on Saturday in search of a man who allegedly
owed them $200 for a heroin purchase, according to a criminal complaint filed
by Nanticoke police.
They threatened a family member of the man they were
searching for, and said they would be back for their money on Monday and if they
did not get it they would not care who they had to hurt or kill, the
criminal complaint states.
At about 5:30 p.m. Monday, police responded to
the Apollo Circle address after a neighbor reported that several men caused a
disturbance and damaged a vehicle parked nearby. Officers found a vehicle with
all four tires slashed and its windshield smashed, that was registered to the
man who allegedly owed money for drugs.
The suspects fled in a silver Honda,
according to witnesses. Newport Township police pulled over the vehicle and detained
five occupants, police said. The men provided false and conflicting information
about their identities, so police took them to the state police barracks at Shickshinny,
where a scan of their fingerprints confirmed their identities, according to the
Each man denied participating in the crime and refused to cooperate
with police, the complaint states.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled for
May 18 before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Police: Two men charged with Nanticoke armed robbery
demanded money, drugs
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
face robbery and related charges after they allegedly threatened the residents
of a Nanticoke home and took money at gunpoint early Thursday morning.
complaint filed by Nanticoke police identifies the men as Reynaldo Melendez, 27,
of Rochester, New York, and his uncle Richard Vanorden, 39, of Nanticoke.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police responded to a reported armed
robbery at an East Washington Street home at 2:47 a.m. Thursday. A male resident
said that Vanorden called him earlier, looking to buy marijuana, but the man told
him he had none to sell.
Vanorden and Melendez came to the home, threatened
two people who live there and demanded drugs and money, the complaint states.
The residents said they knew Vanorden and knew Melendez as "Ray Ray."
Melendez told the residents he would shoot them and their children if they did
not give him money and drugs, according to the complaint.
The residents pointed
to $57 in cash on a television stand, which Melendez took, the complaint states.
Melendez also grabbed the man's phone and broke it as he and Vanorden left, police
Vanorden and Melendez got into a fight when they returned to Vanorden's
home, and a neighbor called 911, according to the complaint. Police responded
and questioned Vanorden's girlfriend, who told officers she drove Vanorden and
Melendez to the East Washington Street home. She also turned over the weapon Melendez
allegedly used during the robbery, which officers determined was a BB gun, police
Officers interviewed Vanorden but Melendez refused to cooperate, according
to the complaint. Melendez injured his face when placed in a holding cell, in
an attempt to accuse officers of misconduct, the complaint states.
and Melendez were arraigned Thursday on felony counts of robbery and criminal
conspiracy and misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking, simple assault
and terroristic threats. They were sent to Luzerne County Correctional Facility
in lieu of $150,000 bail apiece.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled for May
18 before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Grand jury indicts Nanticoke man on firearms charges
A grand jury indicted a Nanticoke man Tuesday for an illegal
Authorities said Damone Whitley, 22, of Nanticoke, falsely
indicated he was buying two firearms from a gun shop for himself on April 5 when
he was buying them for other people.
A federal grand jury in Scranton indicted
Whitley with making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
If found guilty, Whitley could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison,
supervised release following imprisonment and a fine.
Police: Toddler and baby left alone in van outside liquor
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
City police charged two
people with child endangerment for allegedly leaving a toddler and a baby unattended
in a vehicle while they were in a liquor store on Wednesday.
27, and Danielle McKeel, 26, both of Nanticoke, were arraigned Wednesday on charges
of endangering the welfare of children and leaving unattended children in a motor
vehicle. They were sent to Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000
In a criminal complaint, police said that officers observed a
man and a woman, later identified as Britton and McKeel, leave a Dodge Caravan
in the parking lot of Weis Plaza and go into a Wine and Spirits store at about
12:30 p.m. The pair seemed to be acting suspiciously in the van before
they went into the store, police said.
After several minutes, officers investigated
and found two young children a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old unattended
in the van, according to the complaint.
Britton and McKeel told police they
had just gone into the store briefly to pay someone, the complaint states.
Police arrested Britton and McKeel and placed the children in protective custody
with children and youth services.
man to serve up to 48 years in prison for sexual assault
Halpin - Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man convicted of molesting a 5-year-old
girl was sentenced Friday to serve up to 48 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
William Charles Wunner, 30, of Nanticoke, was convicted by a jury in January on
eight charges, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child and endangering the welfare
of a child.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas on Friday sentenced Wunner
to 24 to 48 years in prison and ordered him to register as a sex offender for
We are pleased with the sentence, Assistant District Attorney
Nancy Violi said after the hearing. His actions have forever changed this
little girls life. Hopefully he thinks about that in the decades to come.
Wilkes-Barre police arrested Wunner in August 2014 after the girls grandmother
reported the child pulled away while she was helping the girl get dressed. When
the grandmother asked what was wrong, the girl began to shake and said somebody
would kill her if she told. The grandmother assured her she was safe and the girl
told her Wunner had sexually assaulted and raped her, according to prosecutors.
Wunner sought and failed to tell jurors about what he termed sexual activity
between his 5-year-old victim and her brother. He claimed the girls mother
targeted him for prosecution because he was living with another woman.
sentencing, Wunner was remanded to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Alleged ambulance thief must wait to learn whether shell
face charges as an adult
girl accused of attacking a man with a brick before leading police on a chase
in a stolen ambulance will continue to wait as to whether shell face a slew
of charges as an adult.
A status conference held Thursday in Luzerne County
Court revealed prosecutors are awaiting reciprocal discovery in the case resulting
in their inability to begin engaging the services of an expert witness. Despite
a judges order, specific requests for materials from the defense have yet
to be received by the Commonwealth as of Thursday, prosecutors said.
drew the ire of Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley.
not happy, the judge said. This is about to be a contempt of court
against the public defenders office.
A prior motion requests a
hearing for decertification of the charges against Destiny McNeil and their transfer
to juvenile court. Defense attorneys previously said mental health professionals
diagnosed the girl with serious mental health issues and determined she should
not be held criminally liable for her actions.
Prosecutors say McNeil on Sept.
4 struck a man with a brick on East State Street, Nanticoke, before fleeing in
an ambulance parked about a block away. The girl allegedly led police on a pursuit
and eventually crashed the emergency vehicle, causing damage along the way.
Gartley denied the defenses request to have McNeil moved to a treatment
wing in the Northampton County detention center where the teen is currently located.
The judge scheduled another status conference for April 29.
Trespassing check leads to marijuana arrest in Nanticoke
A 29-year-old man was charged in connection with two counts
possession of marijuana when police discovered him and another person inside a
vehicle parked in a no trespassing lot Saturday.
According to police, officers
observed two males sitting in the front seat of a red 2006 Hyundai Elantra. When
officers approached the vehicle, they noticed the smell of marijuana.
Pennsylvania license check, police were able to identify the passenger as Eric
Matthew Parsons. The male in the drivers seat told police he had smoked
earlier in the day but didnt drive to the location or drive the car at all.
He also would not identify himself to police.
The officers then searched the
interior of the vehicle, which was not licensed to either of the offending parties.
Found within the vehicle were:
a backpack which had the wallet and
license of the driver, identified as Joshua Michael Kehres, a multi-colored glass
pipe, metal grinder, plastic baggy containing marijuana, two heroin packets and
a plastic bag containing trace amounts of meth
a black backpack, owned
by Parsons, which contained a hypodermic needle
a marijuana blunt
Kehres was taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on two counts of
possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of a small amount
of marijuana, one count possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of trespassing.
Man gets up to 48 years for shooting prostitute, raping
two other women
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
Foschini looked down with a blank expression as he stood in shackles listening
to his victims describe what he did to them.
Foschini, 26, of 328 W. Main
St., Nanticoke, previously admitted to shooting a prostitute in the head and abducting
two other women who he drove to secluded Plymouth Township cemeteries and raped
With the tables turned and Foschini the one being held captive,
the women on Monday tearfully described how their brutal ordeals had changed their
lives, from their ability to go outside to their relationships with their families.
Now Im afraid of everything and everybody. I have a hard time leaving
the house, one victim said. Im not able to be the grandmother
I should be right now.
The other rape victim urged the judge to impose
a stiff sentence.
Im a prisoner in my own home, she said.
I think that he needs to do his time. He deserves it. He deserves what he
Foschini, who was surrounded by a large contingent of family and
friends in court, offered only a brief apology for his actions before Luzerne
County Judge David W. Lupas sent him to state prison for 24 to 48 years.
just want to apologize, Foschini said.
Foschini previously pleaded guilty
to charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape in three cases that police
tied together after a prostitute was shot Dec. 12, 2014.
The woman told police
a man, whom she later identified as Foschini, picked her up at Academy Street
and Carey Avenue and drove her to an abandoned building on Willow Street, where
they got into an argument about money.
During the fight, Foschini kicked her
out of his car and shot her in the head, according to prosecutors.
arrested Foschini several days later and collected a DNA sample that matched samples
taken in three unsolved sexual assault cases.
Prosecutors charged Foschini
in the Dec. 13, 2011 rape of a woman who reported being abducted at knife-point
from Carey Avenue in Wilkes-Barre and driven to Exaltation of the Holy Cross and
St. Josephs Cemetery in Plymouth Township, where he raped her.
was also charged in a second cold-case sex assault from Nov. 16, 2012, in which
he lured a woman he saw on Academy Street in Wilkes-Barre into his SUV with an
offer to smoke marijuana. Instead, Foschini locked her in the car and drove to
Ebert Cemetery in Plymouth Township, where he held a knife to the woman while
he raped her in the back seat.
Foschinis DNA also matched a third unsolved
sexual assault case, but the victim has left the area and prosecutors say they
are no longer pursuing that case.
In court Monday, defense attorney Joseph
F. Sklarosky Sr. said Foschini was profusely apologetic for his conduct.
Foschinis conduct was the result of drug abuse and hanging with the wrong
crowd, he said.
He admits that openly, your honor, and he is sorry for
the people he hurt, Sklarosky said. He intends to straighten out his
Lupas also heard from several of Foschinis friends and relatives
whose descriptions of his character were at stark odds with the crimes he admitted.
They characterized him as a good man who helps with chores and is
The judge noted the descriptions Foschinis
loved ones offered were far different from the accounts of the victims.
He imposed consecutive prison time, as prosecutors requested, for a total of 24
to 48 years in state prison. Foschini, who wont be eligible for parole until
hes 50, will also be required to pay the costs of prosecution and to register
as a sex offender for life.
I think (the sentence is) very appropriate
given the horrific nature of the offenses, Assistant District Attorney Nancy
Violi said after the hearing. I think its a sentence thats going
to protect everybody out there from this person. ... Ive been doing this
a long time and the brutal nature of what he did to these women, its really
to 24 to 48 years for kidnappings, rapes and shooting
serial rapists sobbing victim on Monday described the damaging effects left
on her in the wake of a vicious sexual assault.
In my nightmare,
the victim said, I wake up and see his face.
Michael Angelo Foschini
Jr. was stoic in Luzerne County Court as two of his victims described their personal
trauma from separate incidents in which prosecutors say the Nanticoke man coerced
them into his vehicle, drove them to isolated cemeteries and threatened to slit
their throats or stab them if they didnt give in to his demands.
tearful victim said the attack strained her relationship with her family and left
her in a constant state of fear.
Im afraid of everything and everybody,
she said, choking back tears. Im not able to be the grandmother I
should be right now because Im afraid and ashamed. Hes taken me away
from my family.
For his actions, Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas
sentenced Foschini, 26, to 24 to 48 years in state prison for the 2011 and 2012
rape and kidnapping of the two women as well as on charges stemming from a 2014
attack on a third female who Foschini shot in the head after a dispute over cash.
Foschini previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Assistant District Attorney
Nancy Violi called the rapes the worst a person can imagine happening to
The brutal nature of what he did to these women, its
really shocking, Violi said outside the courtroom.
State police said
the victim from 2012 claimed Foschini drove her to a Plymouth Township cemetery
on Nov. 16, 2012, where he threatened her with a knife and forced her to perform
oral sex on him before he raped her. The victim told police Foschini made her
tell him she liked being raped. He then drove off and left the victim alone in
Foschini was charged in July on similar allegations he abducted
and then raped a woman at knifepoint in another Plymouth Township cemetery on
Dec. 13, 2011. The victim told investigators Foschini told her he knew where she
lived and not to call the police.
Police connected Foschini to the rapes,
which had been unsolved, when they got a match to DNA evidence taken from him
during a previous investigation into a Wilkes-Barre shooting in which Foschini
shot a woman in the head with a .22-caliber rifle in the area of Willow Street
and Gordon Avenue on Dec. 12, 2014. The two had been arguing over money, police
While some supporters on Monday described Foschini as helpful
and always respectful, Foschini himself offered only a brief acknowledgement
I just want to apologize, a shackled Foschini said.
Defense attorney Joseph F. Sklarosky Sr. said Foschini was profusely apologetic
for those hed hurt, but noted Foschini had fallen into the trap of
many young people who wind up doing drugs and getting into trouble.
Hes prepared to pay society back for what hes done, Sklarosky
Nanticoke man pleads guilty
to 9 robbery, theft cases
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man accused in a theft and robbery spree pleaded guilty in nine cases
Thursday and was immediately sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison.
Johnson, 54, was accused of a host of crimes, including robbing a Wells Fargo
Bank in Exeter in October 2014 and the botched armed robbery of the Plains Meat
Market the same day.
In the bank robbery, Johnson was accused of entering
the branch on Wyoming Avenue and passing a note that read, Place all the
money on the counter, no dye packs, no trackers, no one gets hurt.
teller refused, and Johnson fled, empty-handed, police said.
The same day,
Johnson and another man robbed the meat market by holding a box cutter to the
owners side, according to police. When the owner yelled for an employee,
the robbers fled, police said.
Four days after those robbery attempts, Johnson
assisted in a purse snatching in Ashley, according to prosecutors. Police alleged
an accomplice grabbed the purse from an elderly woman and Johnson drove the get-away
In addition to three felony robbery charges, Johnson pleaded guilty
to three counts each of theft and receiving stolen property.
Some of the allegations
against Johnson have included stealing a car from a Wyoming Borough dealership
and running a chop shop.
Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough on Thursday
ordered Johnson to serve eight to 16 years in prison on all the offenses, with
a restitution amount to be determined.
Johnson was ordered shipped to state
prison as soon as possible.
shot prostitute in head admits kidnapping and raping two others
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
Already convicted of shooting a prostitute
in the head, Nanticoke resident Michael Foschini on Tuesday admitted to abducting
two women on separate occasions and driving them to remote cemeteries to rape
Foschini, 26, of 328 W. Main St., pleaded guilty to two counts each
of rape and kidnapping, as well as a count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse,
in two cold case rapes that were solved after police swabbed his DNA after arresting
him for the shooting.
Foschini, who in January pleaded guilty to aggravated
assault in the shooting, said little in court Tuesday other than to acknowledge
his responsibility in two brutal rapes. Assistant District Attorney Nancy Violi
detailed the crimes, telling the court how Foschini kidnapped the women at knife-point
before driving them to secluded Plymouth Township cemeteries and forcing them
to have sex.
When Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas asked Foschini if he
admitted the allegations, he said simply, Yes, sir.
Foschini to undergo a sex offender evaluation ahead of his sentencing in the three
cases, set for April 4.
A shackled Foschini declined to comment as sheriffs
deputies escorted him from the courthouse.
The cases all came together after
the Dec. 12, 2014, shooting of a prostitute. The woman showed up at Geisingers
urgent care facility in Wilkes-Barre with wounds to her head and hand.
told police a man, whom she later identified as Foschini, picked her up at the
intersection of Academy Street and Carey Avenue and drove her to an abandoned
building on Willow Street, where they got into an argument about money.
the fight, Foschini kicked her out of his car and shot her, according to prosecutors.
Police arrested Foschini several days later and collected a DNA sample that prosecutors
say matched samples taken in three unsolved sexual assault cases.
first charged Foschini in the Dec. 13, 2011 rape of a woman who reported being
abducted at knife-point from Carey Avenue in Wilkes-Barre and driven to Exaltation
of the Holy Cross and St. Josephs Cemetery in Plymouth Township.
allege Foschini forced the woman to perform oral sex on him before having intercourse
The allegations were strikingly similar to another rape on Nov.
16, 2012. In that case, prosecutors allege Foschini lured a woman into his SUV
with an offer to smoke a bowl with her after seeing her along Academy
Street, near the Crown Fried Chicken.
When she got in, Foschini locked the
doors and drove the woman to Ebert Cemetery in Plymouth Township where police
said he held a knife to the woman while he raped her in the back seat.
threatened to slice her throat if she didnt moan during the assault, according
No charges have been filed in connection with the third sexual
assault case prosecutors say they have tied to Foschini through DNA. Prosecutors
have declined to comment on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
remains jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail pending
trial in the sex assault cases.
woman nabbed in Nanticoke drug bust
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
City police charged a Wilkes-Barre woman with drug trafficking on Friday
after they served a search warrant at a Nanticoke home.
Jordan K. El, 19,
was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana,
Nanticoke police said in a news release.
Her arrest resulted from a search
at an Espy Street home at about 11:40 a.m., police said.
Officers found $571
in cash, 195 bags of heroin, 4.7 grams of crack cocaine and 8.6 grams of marijuana
during the search, according to police.
El was wanted by Wilkes-Barre police
and is on bail for prior arrests in Hanover Township, police said.
going to be arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker, according
Members of the Nanticoke Police Narcotics Unit, the Hanover Township
Police Narcotics Unit, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force and the state Attorney
Generals Office participated in the investigation, police said.
Three Luzerne County men charged after heroin bust
Joseph Kohut - Citizens Voice
Lackawanna County detectives accused three
Luzerne County men on Tuesday of planning to sell a large amount of heroin, detectives
Anthony Glover, 42, 153 Reynolds St., Plymouth; Maurice Wood, 21, 226
E. Main St., Nanticoke; and Carwell T. Moody, 45, 470 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre,
each face drug charges following their arrests on Kane Street in Scranton, according
to a criminal complaint.
Detectives said the three arrived at a hotel at about
5 p.m. to sell a large amount of heroin.
Woods exited a vehicle and began
walking to the hotel when detectives arrested him. He refused to comply with their
commands, leading officers to use a stun gun, detectives wrote.
the other two in the vehicle they arrived in and took them into custody. Glover
gave a false name and detectives learned he has 14 different aliases.
had tried to get rid of a plastic shopping bag, which held 88 bags of heroin and
a gram of raw heroin, police said. Detectives found another gram of heroin in
Moody and Glover are jailed at Lackawanna County Prison in lieu
of $75,000 bail, while Wood is jailed there in lieu of $50,000 bail. Preliminary
hearings are scheduled for Thursday, March 17.
police investigating robbery at Turkey Hill
A man wearing all black clothing robbed a Turkey Hill on West Main Street
at knife point, city police said.
Nanticoke City police said a clerk reported
the robbery around 11:35 p.m. Monday.
The clerk told police that a man walked
into the store, pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and demanded all of the
money in the register or else. The man took the money and left, running
towards Alden Road, according to the clerk.
The clerk described the suspect
as a white man who is 5 feet 11 inches tall, medium build and wearing all black
Officers saw footprints in the snow along the sidewalk on Alden
Road and cutting through a yard in the 400 block of West Union Street and back
onto the sidewalk until officers believe the suspect entered a vehicle.
Nanticoke City Police Department is investigating the robbery. Anyone with information
regarding the incident is asked to call 570-735-2200.
Nanticoke man faces child pornography charges
Jacob Seibel - Citizens Voice
The Pennsylvania Attorney Generals
Office has charged a Nanticoke man with more than two dozen counts of child pornography
after agents allegedly found images of naked children stored on his home computer.
Jon Emmett, 42, was arraigned Friday on three felony counts of disseminating photographs
of child sex acts and 25 felony counts of child pornography.
He was sent to
Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000 bail.
that led to Emmetts arrest began in June 2015, according to a criminal complaint
police filed against Emmett.
According to the complaint, agents of the child
predator section of the Attorney Generals Office found torrent files containing
child pornography downloaded to an IP address later traced to Emmett. The files
allegedly contained nude images of children who appeared to be as young as 5 to
7 years old.
Agents traced the IP address to Emmetts Nanticoke home,
according to the complaint. They interviewed several people close to Emmett, including
a woman described as his soon to be ex-wife.
When agents told
the woman why they wanted to speak with her, she allegedly said, Oh no,
he is still doing that?
She said that years ago she had seen images
of underage girls on Emmetts old computer, according to the complaint.
Emmett agreed to speak with agents who contacted him via telephone. He allegedly
said that he liked to view clothed images of juveniles, but that if
he saw naked pictures of children he would delete them.
then contacted authorities to say that Emmett would not be available for a follow-up
interview that had been scheduled at the Nanticoke police station, according to
On Thursday, agents conducted a forensic analysis of the hard
drive of Emmetts home computer. They allegedly recovered 20 videos and four
images of apparent child pornography, some of them depicting children who appeared
to be 2 to 4 years of age, according to the criminal complaint.
hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10 before Magisterial District Judge Donald Whittaker.
Alleged armed hostage-taker faces
Eric Mark - Citizens Voice
A man charged with holding
a woman hostage at gunpoint and barricading himself in a Nanticoke home last fall
will face a trial in county court.
Daniel Dosette, 38, was charged with aggravated
assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment
following the Nov. 21, 2015 incident. At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Magisterial
District Judge Donald Whittaker bound over all charges to the Luzerne County Court
of Common Pleas, according to court records.
Police allege that Dosette held
a woman hostage at gunpoint following a violent domestic dispute, and that he
refused to surrender to police who surrounded the home after the woman called
911 and escaped.
Officers eventually stormed the home and took Dosette into
custody, but Dosette resisted arrest and three officers were injured while police
disarmed and subdued him, police allege.
Dosettes formal arraignment
in county court is scheduled for March 31. He remains jailed at Luzerne County
Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000 bail, court records state.
Nanticoke man enters guilty plea in prostitute shooting
James Halpin - Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man accused of
raping women at knifepoint in Plymouth Township cemeteries pleaded guilty Tuesday
in a separate case alleging he shot a prostitute in the head following an argument
over cash, according to prosecutors.
Michael Foschini Jr., 26, of 328 W. Main
St., pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and
possessing about 30 grams of marijuana, Assistant District Attorney William Finnegan
said. As part of his plea agreement, Foschini agreed to a sentence at the high
end of the standard range of between three and six years in prison, he said.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas set sentencing for 9:30 a.m. March 22.
According to prosecutors, the victim showed up at Geisingers urgent care
facility in Wilkes-Barre with wounds to the head and hand on Dec. 12, 2014.
She told police a man, whom she later identified as Foschini, picked her up at
the intersection of Academy Street and Carey Avenue and drove her to an abandoned
building on Willow Street, where they got into an argument about money.
the fight, Foschini kicked her out of his car and shot her, according to prosecutors.
After Foschinis arrest several days later, police collected a DNA sample
from him that prosecutors say matched three sexual assault cases.
He has since
been charged in two of them the first a brutal rape from four years earlier.
The victim in that case told police she had been abducted at knifepoint from Carey
Avenue in Wilkes-Barre and driven to Exaltation of the Holy Cross and St. Josephs
Cemetery in Plymouth Township on Dec. 13, 2011.
There, Foschini forced the
woman to perform oral sex on him before having intercourse with her, according
The allegations were startlingly similar to another violent
rape prosecutors charged Foschini with a month later. In that case, Foschini is
accused of luring a woman into his SUV with an offer to smoke a bowl
with her after seeing her along Academy Street, near the Crown Fried Chicken,
on Nov. 16, 2012.
When she got in, Foschini locked the doors and drove the
woman to Ebert Cemetery in Plymouth Township where police said he held a knife
to the woman while he raped her in the back seat.
Foschini threatened to slice
her throat if she didnt moan during the assault, according to police.
No charges have been filed in connection with the third sexual assault case prosecutors
say they have tied to Foschini through DNA.
Foschini remains jailed at the
Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail.
man faces jail time for stalking Tracey Ann Gonda, convicted of killing her infant
A Nanticoke man is facing potential jail time
after threatening to kill a woman who was recently convicted in the suffocation
death of her 2½-month-old son.
William M. Fisher, 45, was scheduled
to be sentenced Friday in Luzerne County Court on charges he sent harassing text
messages to Tracey Ann Gonda, including one message in which he promised to take
Gonda to the grave.
Coming for u, Fisher wrote in
a message on April 12. U cant hide!
Gonda, Fishers ex-girlfriend,
was sentenced in November to 15 months to five years behind bars after pleading
guilty to one count each of child endangerment and corruption of minors in the
Feb. 14, 2014 death of her infant son, Jaxon.
Police said Gonda, 42, fell
asleep on a recliner with Jaxon in her arms and then closed the recliner on the
boy after awaking several hours later.
Gonda had admitted to drinking the
night Jaxon died and to lying to police about the incident during the early stages
of the investigation, including how and where Jaxons body was found.
Jaxons father, Corey Eckrote, was sentenced to two to six years in jail
on Dec. 18 for his role in the infants death.
According to a criminal
complaint, Fisher sent multiple harassing text messages to Gonda between April
and May. He was previously charged with stalking in 2013, court documents show.|
Police said Fisher, of 41 W. South Street, also illegally entered a Nanticoke
residence on April 23 and demanded to know the whereabouts of Gonda and Eckrote.
Fisher told the homeowner he was going to kill her (and him) before
he goes to jail, the complaint alleges.
After being arrested and released
on bail on criminal trespassing and related charges for the incident, Fisher again
U cant and wont imagine the pain and hell ur goin 2
go through, Fisher wrote in the text message on May 10.
Fisher is facing
one misdemeanor count each of stalking and retaliation in the incident. The penalties
could result in up to seven years behind bars.
Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek
Gartley on Friday granted a request to continue Fishers sentencing to Feb.
24 to consolidate additional charges of theft, burglary, and receiving stolen
Fisher was remanded to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.