2013-03-07 / Front Page

Woman Sentenced For Drug Delivery

Gayle Hess sentenced; husband Albert Hess given continuance
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

A McConnellsburg woman was remanded to the custody of the the sheriff’s office on Tuesday to begin a local prison sentence for drug delivery, while her husband, facing sentencing on the same charges, was granted a brief oneweek continuance.

Sixty-five-year-old Gayle L. Hess of 111 Woodside Drive, Apt. A-11, learned on March 5 that her criminal liability or culpability is the same whether she was an accomplice or a principal in the sale of prescription pills to a confidential informant. As part of the sentencing proceeding, Hess was also informed by Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Krom that the report prepared by the probation office failed to consider the “extreme harm” to the community through the sale of pills.

Hess was accordingly ordered to complete 36 months intermediate punishment in connection with one count of delivery of a controlled substance. The punishment program got under way on Tuesday with two months incarceration in the Franklin County Jail and will be followed by six months of electronic monitoring.

Hess will be responsible for paying a $15 monitoring hookup fee as well as an $8 daily fee for participation, even though her attorney

Philip Harper had previously pointed out it would be “financially unfeasible” for her to pay the money given her limited monthly income. Harper had also noted that in the interest of justice, probation would be an appropriate sentence given his client’s physical condition, her limited involvement in the delivery of drugs and lack of prior record.

Hess and her husband, Albert “Jake” Hess, were charged by an undercover officer with the Pennsylvania State Police in Hollidaysburg on October 3, 2012, in connection with controlled buys of Hydrocodone at the intersection of Waterfall and North Hess roads and at a location along Route 913 in northern Fulton County.

The affidavit of probable cause indicates in both instances, on October 24 and 28, 2011, the couple arrived at the scene in a white 2002 Chevrolet Silverado truck driven by Gayle. A confidential informant was handed a pill bottle each time from Albert containing 50 Hydrocodone tablets in exchange for $350.

Sixty-six-year-old Albert Hess also stood before Judge Krom on Tuesday for sentencing but on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. Each felony offense carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Sixty-six-year-old Albert Hess, according to his attorney, Eric Weisbrod, requested a continuance to help determine the cause of ongoing serious back pain. Documentation validating this medical concern was not brought to the court proceeding.

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall mentioned a lack of credibility and added it appeared Mr. Hess was just “trying to put off an unpleasant situation.” He was, however, granted a brief continuation and was ordered to appear in court next Tuesday. In the meantime, proper documentation must be provided to the court outlining any reasons why he is physically unable to be incarcerated.

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