2012-11-07 / Local & State

Husband, Wife In Court For Drug Delivery

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

A husband and wife from the McConnellsburg area were in county court Tuesday to answer allegations that they sold hydrocodone pills to a Pennsylvania State Police confidential informant over a year ago.

Sixty-five-year-olds Albert “Jake” Hess and Gayle L. Hess of 111 Woodside Drive, Apt. A-11, stood before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman on November 6 for formal arraignment. Both Albert and Gayle Hess face two counts each of delivery of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy for the alleged controlled buys that occurred on October 24 and October 28, 2011.

Each felony offense carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

At the request of his attorney, Fulton County Public Defender Dwight Harvey, Albert Hess was granted a continuance until November 20. Harvey told the court his client had solicited the assistance of defense attorney Eric Weisbrod, who had had a consultation but not yet received payment.

District Attorney Travis Kendall noted on the record the commonwealth did not oppose the continuance. However, as a plea agreement had already been reached, he said he would not be bound to offer that same agreement during the continued arraignment proceeding.

Meanwhile, Gayle Hess waived her right to mandatory arraignment and entered a not-guilty plea to all charges. She is represented in court proceedings by attorney Philip Harper and will next appear in court on January 15, 2013, for call of the criminal trial list.

The duo were recently charged by an undercover officer with the Pennsylvania State Police in Hollidaysburg on October 3 through the office of Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne. In the charging documents, the trooper maintains the controlled buys occurred in northern Fulton County at the intersection of Waterfall and North Hess roads and at a location along Route 913.

The affidavit of probable cause indicates in both instances the Hess’s arrived at the scene in a white 2002 Chevrolet Silverado truck with Gayle behind the wheel. The confidential informant was handed a pill bottle each time containing 50 hydrocodone tablets in exchange for $350. Furthermore, Albert Hess told the informant he put three extra tablets in both bottles, police said.

Documents state that during the October 28 buy Albert Hess’s name was listed on the pill bottle.

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