OldArchive / District Justices

Fred Wheaton, Wysox


State police at Towanda have issued warrants for the arrest of Benjamin Ball, 23, Montrose; Ian Ball, 24, Montrose; and Derek Brandon Stang, 19, Lawton, for their alleged involvement in a break-in and robbery at Miller’s Pharmacy in the Farm and Home Plaza on Route 6 in Wyalusing. Benjamin Ball has been charged with criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance, namely Oxycodone and Vicodin. Charges against Ian Ball and Stang include burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and possession of controlled substances. State police have accused the three men of entering the pharmacy illegally at about 3:20 a.m. on Sept. 23, using a heavy sledge to break a three-by-four-foot plate glass window. Ian Ball and Stang are reported to have removed the drugs from the premises before fleeing in a vehicle driven by Benjamin Ball into Susquehanna County. Stang was interviewed on Nov. 2 at his residence by state police at Laporte, the Montrose police chief Dale Smith, and Susquehanna County detective William Strong, at which point Stang implicated the Balls in the Wyalusing burglary and also confirming his suspected involvement in a pharmacy break-in in Dushore. Strong interviewed Ian Ball at the Susquehanna County Jail on Nov. 3, at which time he reportedly corroborated Stang’s testimony. Benjamin Ball was interviewed by state police at Laporte on Nov. 4, and he allegedly further testified that he drove the vehicle to the plaza and waited while his brother, Ian, and Stang broke into the pharmacy and returned with the drugs, which they split three ways. No preliminary hearing has been set, as Stang and Benjamin Ball were apparently released from prison, while Ian Ball remains incarcerated in Susquehanna County. Calls for clarification to the state trooper who filed the reports with Judge Wheaton’s office had not been returned at press time.

Desiree Daff, 39, Laceyville, faces charges for possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Daff was cited after a state police officer and a Wyoming County detective visited her Tuscarora Township, Bradford County, residence on Oct. 12 while searching for Thomas Merritt, who had failed to appear in Wyoming County Court for sentencing for an unrelated crime earlier that day. Daff and Merritt were not initially at the Singer Road home but arrived shortly thereafter, Daff’s vehicle full of peculiar items that were later found to be stolen. In a story published in last week’s Rocket-Courier, Daff reportedly denied involvement with the theft nor any knowledge of where the items had come from. Upon further questions by state police, however, she reportedly permitted the officer to search her purse, in which he found the small amount of marijuana and several straws that had apparently been cut for the purpose of snorting cocaine or heroin. Lab results are pending on the residue inside the straws, but Daff will answer to the charges at a preliminary hearing slated for Jan. 10, 2012.

Three DUI arrests were processed last week in Magisterial District 42-3-04. The following summaries of reports issued from Judge Wheaton’s office include name, age, residency, location and date of arrest, BAC (if applicable), pertinent additional charges incurred by each of the defendants, and preliminary hearing dates:

Bolivar Campusano, Jr., 30, Concord, NC, Route 6 in Wysox Township at about 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 19, .333, expired license and not properly insured, Dec. 9.

Dwayne Allen Shoemaker, 42, Wysox, Route 6 west of Coolbaugh Road in Wysox Township at about 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, .251, careless driving, Jan. 17, 2012.

Erika Elaine Gardner, 19, Troy, Bliss Road in Rome Township at about 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, .064, under-age DUI and careless driving, Jan. 10, 2012.

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