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Schuylkill County Courthouse Blunder Lets Convicted Heroin Dealer Loose for 6 Months

Someone at Schuylkill County Courthouse botched processing a convicted heroin dealer. It allowed serial suspect Nancy Cole — convicted and sentenced — to sell more drugs for six months until she eventually got locked up last month.

Here’s how it happened:

Cole, 57, was sentenced to prison Sept. 12 last year. She was ordered to start serving her sentence Oct. 5. That’s the date she was supposed to show up at the prison.

But Cole never showed up.

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Even worse? No one at Schuylkill County Prison knew Cole was due there that day.

That’s because the sentencing information never made it from Judge Cyrus P. Dolbin’s courtroom to the prison.

Courtroom Procedure

Normally, when a person is sentenced and ordered to report to prison at a later date, the prison knows they’re coming.

When the judge hands down the sentence, documents get processed and distributed to various locations.

If someone’s sentenced to prison, prison officials get a notification. The defendant and their attorney get a copy of this paperwork, too.

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Same goes with sentences that include things like, for example, a suspended driver’s license. The court notifies PennDOT this is happening.

So, when someone doesn’t show up to prison the day they’re ordered there, prison officials go on alert. A bench warrant gets issued by a judge and authorities go out and find the no-show.

Sentencing Nancy Cole

Cole received her 21-42 month sentence on Sept. 12 last year, according to court documents.

A source close to the case says Cole was ordered to appear at Schuylkill County prison on Oct. 5.

It’s typical for convicted defendants not considered a flight risk to be given time like this to get their affairs on the outside in order before going to prison.

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For some reason, the court allowed Cole that time. It’s a very lenient decision, really. Prior to this, Cole has been running from or in trouble with the law for years.

The heroin dealing charges she eventually pleads guilty to last year stem from a 2017 incident in which she sold drugs to an undercover cop in Tamaqua.

When police went to round her up for the initial court appearance on those charges, they found her already in prison. She was in a Lackawanna County prison for violating parole stemming from a 2016 drug-related incident.

According to Cole’s court record, the trail dates beyond that, too.

The Courthouse Blunder That Put a Heroin Dealer Back on the Street

But let’s jump back to the present …

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Cole should appear at Schuylkill County prison on Oct. 5 but never shows.

And no bench warrant gets issued in this case.

Why? No one at Schuylkill County Prison knew Cole was supposed to report.

Someone at the Courthouse failed to properly file Cole’s sentencing order at the prison.

So Oct. 5 comes and goes and no one has any reason to think Cole should have been there.

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Finally Catching Cole

So, on Oct. 6, when Cole failed to appear at Schuylkill County prison, a bench warrant should have been issued. It wasn’t.

And no one thought to look for her without that order in the prison’s possession. She didn’t come up on their radar, as it were.

Instead, Cole eventually got locked up when her name surfaced in a recent drug investigation in Tamaqua.

Rather than use the borrowed time she had on the lam, Cole couldn’t stay out of trouble. That means she was likely out selling more heroin and whatever else she could until she was caught again … if ever.

When the name came up, it tipped off police who apparently put in a call to the right people to get a bench warrant issued for her arrest on April 18.

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Cole now serves time at SCI-Muncy.

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  1. Tweetie Bird

    May 13, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I probably shouldn’t say who messed up, but her initials are MARIA CASEY. It is the Clerk of Court’s job, and no one else’s, to send the sentencing paperwork to the prison. Thus the term, CLERK of COURTS. Shame on Maria Casey. But ya know, when you are busy double- and even triple-dipping, mistakes like this are bound to happen.

  2. Sower Tity

    May 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Outrageous! And to think she assured us she would do the job competently because she is a *licensed attorney*.
    There is a warm place in Hell for politicians like Casey.

  3. Mark Felt

    May 13, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Seems the sentencing orders were sent out… If it was received by one office, it was received by all. Sometimes criminals don’t follow the law.

    I have no love for Casey, but why use outright lies , when she has actually done so much wrong that warrants voting against her.

    • MikeyB

      May 14, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Actually, it has been confirmed that Casey didn’t distribute a copy of the order to the prison. The DA received a copy. The Defendant’s lawyer received a copy. The stenographer received a copy. But, Schuylkill County Prison did NOT.

      HUGE mistake. How many more of these are there?

  4. Mark Felterup

    May 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    “Mark Felt” aren’t you clever. Not.
    Pretending to be a Casey antagonist miffed by an allegedly false claim, who says there are other real things to criticize her for, but conveniently you stop short of mentioning her “real” baggage. Sure pal. The truth is Maria has a form with boxes where she checks off each office that gets a copy of the sentencing doc. But she didn’t check the box that says, “PRISON”. Which means the prison never got its copy. Which means they were clueless when the heroin dealer didn’t show up for prison, so no bench warrant could be issued. She just plain messed up. Bigly.

  5. Mark Felt

    May 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Lol miffed, odd? I said lies…Not miffed.
    Everyone already knows her ” baggage” it’s been brought out repeatedly,and she should be voted out… Or couldn’t you read that part? do you have short term memory loss and need her baggage repeated on every reply? Sad.

  6. Mark Felterup

    May 14, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Well “Felt” do me and all taxpayers a solid and refresh the memory on Casey’s baggage…..

  7. Pete

    May 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I love this strange coal area!!! Between the mass corruption in all levels of government , row home fires , odd accidents with totally no real explaination, the enormous blight and drug problem. Detroit looks better!!!! at least theres more to do there and may might be stuck past 1996 !!!!!

    • admin

      May 14, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      The news well never runs dry, that’s for sure 😉

      • Valhalla

        May 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

        Yep sad you make money off bad news and seem to enjoy it

  8. Valhalla

    May 22, 2019 at 6:48 am



    She was snitching and that was her reward

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