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Carbondale Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Law Blog

Dispute over party cover charge leads to homicide charges

Two pre-St. Patrick's Day parties in a Scranton apartment building appear to have resulted in two violent crimes committed by the same man. Despite accusatory statements from several eyewitnesses, the man was still proclaiming his innocence after being arrested and charged with both crimes.

Two parties were occurring in the apartment building, one on the first floor and one in the attic. Persons wishing to attend the party in the attic were required to pay a cover charge. One of the guests changed his mind after paying the cover charge and decided to leave the party. His demand for a return of his cover charge led to a scuffle that soon involved the defendant. Threats were flying between two groups of men, one group with the guest and another with the defendant. The defendant drew a knife and stabbed the guest.

Three men face drug charges after arrest in Scranton

Three men from Luzerne County are now in the Lackawanna County Prison after being charged with attempting to sell a large amount of heroin. The arrest appears to have occurred quietly, and the men have been jailed in the Lackawanna County Prison. The details of the alleged criminal activity can be found in the police complaint.

The men were apprehended by Lackawanna County detectives at a hotel on Kane Street. The men arrived at the hotel in a single vehicle at about 5:00, where, according the complaint, they intended to sell "a large amount" of heroin. One of the men left the vehicle and began walking toward the hotel. He refused a police request that he stop walking. He was hit with a stun gun and arrested. The other two men were arrested as they sat in the arrival vehicle.

Township supervisor charged with sexual assault of 3 children

One of the most dispiriting aspects of sexual abuse of children is the fact that the alleged perpetrator often occupies a position of trust with respect to the victims. In a recent child abuse case in Lackawanna County, the suspect not only transported special needs children for a local school district but was also an elected public official.

Police recently arrested a three-term township supervisor and charged him with exposing himself to three girls, ages 11, 12, and 13 and with fondling one of the girls. The defendant has been employed for four years by the Lackawanna Trail School District as a driver of special needs children. The school district suspended the suspect from this job when the allegations of sexual abuse became known.

Distraught man tries to force girlfriend to shoot him

The cascade of emotions that can be unleashed when one person tries to end a romantic relationship can take many forms. Alcohol can often intensify the emotions and leads to domestic violence. The recent arrest of a Lackawanna County man shows how these ingredients can quickly reach a dangerous boil.

The couple in question had maintained a romantic relationship for 14 years when the woman told the man that she wanted to end their relationship. According to the woman's statement to police, the man had been drinking and the couple had been arguing. When the woman told the man that their relationship was finished, the man pointed a revolver at his head and threatened to pull the trigger. When he laid the gun on a table, the woman grabbed it. The man then lunged at her with a bayonet knife and pleaded for her to shoot him. The man then told the woman's daughter to shoot him and "Take me out of my misery." The daughter refused, locked herself in her room, and called 911.

Four men charged in attempted motel robbery

An attempted robbery at a motel in South Scranton was foiled by the energetic cooperation of four local police departments. Four men are now in custody and facing a variety of felony charges ranging from armed robbery to carrying a firearm without a permit.

The attempted robbery began when three men asked to be admitted to the office of an EconoLodge Motel in South Scranton. After being allowed to enter, each of the men drew a handgun. One of the men pointed his gun at the clerk and demanded that the hotel's safe be opened. The clerk did not possess the necessary key and could not open the safe. The three men then took $200 from the motel's register and left the premises.

Six men face charges in Scranton drug bust

The narrative of arrests set forth in a recent criminal complaint filed by Lackawanna County detectives shows how the web of an investigation can spread quickly to catch other suspects. An investigation by the County's Street Crimes Unit of a man believed to be a drug supplier recently resulted in the arrest of six men who are now facing a variety of criminal charges.

The original suspect was believed to be a supplier who purchased drugs in New Jersey and used a number of "runners" in Scranton and elsewhere to deliver the drugs and collect payments. When detectives learned that the man had recently returned from New Jersey with a supply of heroin, they arranged a controlled purchase from one of the runners. When the runner showed up to complete the sale, he was arrested. Detectives interrogated the runner and obtained a home address for the man they had been investigating.

Bookkeeper charged with embezzling $492,000 from employer

Small businesses must necessarily depend upon the honesty of their employees in order to prosper. When a critical employee such as a bookkeeper is dishonest, the losses can almost ruin the business. The Cousin's Convenience Mart learned this lesson when it turned to a long-time employee to manage the company's books after the death of its founder.

The founder of the small chain of convenience stores died in May 2012, and the family hired a trusted employee as bookkeeper. Seven months after becoming bookkeeper, the employee began skimming cash from the company's business on a daily basis. The woman was arrested on Feb. 2, 2016 and charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and tampering with the company's records. According to police, the woman stole $265,483 from the company's store on Betty Street in Eynon and $227,192 from the store on Hill Street.

Wrong-way driver faces 4 homicide charges

Most residents of Lackawanna County understand the truism that, when a driver somehow manages to drive the wrong way on an interstate or other limited access roadway, the result is often tragic, both for the driver and others. Many people do not realize, however, that such an incident can also result in very serious criminal charges for the wrong-way driver. A recent accident on I-81 provides dramatic evidence of how such charges arise.

Last week, a 28-year old man driving a Lincoln MKZ traveled north for more than seven miles against traffic in the southbound lane of I-81. Several attempts by passing motorists to gain the driver's attention failed, and he ultimately collided with a Honda Accord. Three people in the Accord and a passenger in the Lincoln were ruled dead at the scene. Two other passengers in the Honda were hospitalized in critical condition. A state trooper said that the driver of the Lincoln appeared "bewildered" at the scene and smelled of alcohol. The trooper said that the man admitted that he had been drinking.

Police seize heroin, crack and pistol in Scranton arrest

Three men are alleged to have committed a number of drug- and gun-related crimes after they were arrested near a Scranton restaurant and found to be in possession of drugs and a pistol with a partially obliterated serial number. According to the criminal complaint filed by the police, the three men are facing numerous drug-related criminal charges.

Police said that the three men are residents of Brooklyn, NY, and they are all in their early 20s. The three men were arrested after stepping from a taxi that had brought them to Scranton from Wilkes-Barre. One of the men is accused of trying to hide 140 glassine bags of heroin and five plastic bags of crack under the front passenger seat where he had been sitting. A second member of the trio had a small amount of marijuana in his possession.

DUI charges based on drug use termed "wake-up call"

Residents of Lackawanna County often think of drunk driving charges as arising only from excessive use of alcohol, but the recent arraignment of a woman from Scranton for repeated DUI offenses involving prescription painkillers has been termed a "wake-up call for everyone."

The woman was arrested three times in 2015 for allegedly driving under the influence of painkillers such as Xanex. The last such incident occurred in October when the woman struck and injured an intermediate school student while she was walking across an intersection. The woman also struck a crossing guard. The guard's injuries were minor, but the teenager is still receiving medical treatment for her injuries.

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