Soccer parents have separate days in court
BY PAT FARNELLI and ROBERT L. BAKER
A Nicholson woman was sentenced Wednesday to 3-6 months in county jail for endangering the welfare of children, while her husband entered a guilty plea Friday to drug possession charges, all before President Judge Russell Shurtleff who wanted to make sure they weren’t in jail at the same time so their three sons were cared for.
Brenda Lee Tobin, 35, and her husband Scott Charles Tobin, 42, were arrested in June after investigators discovered a marijuana-growing operation in the basement of their home on Vic’s Lane.
The Tobin’s three sons, ages nine to 12 years old, were home with their parents at the time the search was executed June 13.
Mrs. Tobin’s attorney, Paul Ackourey, asked for a probation sentence rather than prison time, because the defendant’s husband had not yet been sentenced, and it was essential that at least one parent be at home with the three boys.
Ackourey called Mrs. Tobin “a remarkable woman” who recently completed a degree program at the University of Scranton with honors.
He said that she was a valued employee of 15 years with an outstanding recent performance evaluation. He also said that she has a long history of volunteerism in the community, with 120 hours completed at the elementary school as well as volunteer service for Tee-Ball and soccer programs.
“She has no criminal history. I can’t imagine that you will see her back here again,” Ackourey said.
On Friday, Scott Tobin entered a guilty plea in county court for a charge of “possession with intent to deliver marijuana—20 plants.”
He was represented by attorney Joseph McGraw who requested that Shurtleff grant a continuance to delay the sentencing so that his wife and co-defendant could be released in time to be available to take care of the three children.
“This is only guilty plea, he is not looking at incarceration today,” Shurtlff said.
He did agree to delay Scott’s sentencing until Brenda is released.
Detective David Ide, who along with state troopers searched the couple’s home in June, said that the warrant was based on probable cause, using information obtained through the use of a confidential informant.
He said that the troopers found a marijuana growing operation in the basement, mainly in one large room. He said that there appeared to be “hundreds of marijuana plants” growing there, with lights, fertilizer, growing chemicals, and tools.
He said that more than 160 plants were confiscated by the state police.
During the guilty plea hearing, there was a question concerning weapons found in the Tobin residence.
One of the weapons in question belonged to a friend, and two belonged to Mrs. Tobin’s mother.
Shurtleff said that the weapon registrations would be checked to ascertain ownership.
According to Ide, when the search was conducted, in close proximity to the growing area were a number of weapons. The state police handled the weapons and plant evidence downstairs, while he remained upstairs most of the time with Mr. Tobin.
According to police documents, Mr. Tobin acknowledged he had been growing, manufacturing, cultivating, harvesting and distributing marijuana for about a year.
Tobin told police he had been unemployed for a year and he and his wife had gone through their 401K retirement savings, and had to “sell marijuana to survive.”
Others pleading Friday:
-Kenneth Preston Aden, 29, of Bozo Road, Lake Charles, La., pleaded guilty to unlawful taking of big game on Nov. 26, 2011, and was immediately sentenced to a $1,000 fine, $1,600 restitution to be made to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and a 5-year ban on hunting in the Commonwealth, with all financial obligations to be paid in 90 days.
-Michael J. Allen, 27, of Laceyville, pleaded guilty to DUI on June 9.
-Scott G. Archibald, 37, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on July 15.
-Derek J. Baker, 24, of West Lafayette, Ohio, pleaded guilty to DUI on Aug. 11, 2011.
-Mark Wayne Davenport, 53, of Swoyersville, pleaded guilty to simple assault on July 3
-Martin Deras, 46, of Meshoppen, pleaded guilty to DUI, second offense, on July 4, 2011.
-Chad M. Derhammer, 26, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to simple assault on June 23.
-Jonathan Eiden, 31, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to DUI and recklessly endangering another person on May 27
David C. Farr Jr., 21, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on May 7.
-Keith Alan Finkler, 31, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on July 15
-Michael Paul Gurnari, 23, of Harveys Lake, was tp plead guilty to receiving stolen property on March 12, but a random drug test found Gurnari to be under the influence of at least twop controlled substances, and the original case was continued to a later date.
-Daniel Michael OShea Harvey, 26, of Harveys Lake, DUI, second offense, on July 22.
-John J. Holleran, 53, of West Pittston, pleaded guilty to DUI on April 4.
-Joshua Lawrence Jarvis, 30, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking on March 24, 2011.
-Jonelle E. Kasson-Morton, 37, of Noxen, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit theft on Jan. 21.
-Anthony Robert Knight, 23, of Ferncrest Drive, Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to theft by deception on April 18.
-Jimmie Raymond Kreidler, 23, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to driving under suspension, DUI related, on Feb. 9, 2011; and was immediately sentenced to a $500 fine and 60 days in the county jail to run concurrently with a sentence handed down last Wednesday for another offense.
-Frederich William Kuntz, 53, of Sickler Road, Meshoppen, pleaded guilty to DUI on July 22.
-Debbie Ladner, 50, of Washington Park Road, Tunkhanock, pleaded guilty to insurance fraud on June 3, 2010.
-John E. Lundquist, 64, of Hillsdale, Ill., pleaded guilty to DUI on April 19.
-Calvin Randa Moore, 40, of Burlington, pleaded guilty to criminal use of a communication facility on Dec. 20, 2011.
-Matthew Raleigh Noreika, 27, of Falls, pleaded guilty to DUI on Feb. 20.
-Harold Michael Page, 21, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana on March 16.
-Joshua Arthur Pfeiffer, 23, of Harveys Lake, pleaded guilty to corruption of minors on Nov. 27, 2011.
-Courtney Noel Ross, 18, of Dalton, pleaded guilty to theft by deception on
-Nicole Lee Sands, 24, of Mehoopany, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia on Aug. 10. As part of the plea, separate charges from an July 20 incident will not be prosecuted, at the time of sentencing.
-Alexander Scott, 49, of Kingsley, pleaded guilty to bad checks on May 27, 2010.
-Julie R. Spaeth-Carter, 38, of Meshoppen, pleaded guilty to bad checks on Aug. 4, 2011.
-James Thomas Stark, 23, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia on August 3.
-Scott Charles Tobin, 42, of Vic’s Lane, Nicholson, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver on June 13.
-Bobbie Jo Walker, 21, of Dimock, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver on Aug. 16.
-Edward Stephen Walker, 59, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to DUI on May 10.
-Seth Michael Wells, 22, of Montrose, pleaded guilty to DUI on Oct. 28, 2010.
-Heather M. Winters, 37, of Laceyville, pleaded guilty to DUI on July 31, 2011.
-Sharif Najim Wood, 25, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit retail theft on July 7.