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RYAN KIERNAN

A 29-year-old Nicholson man who escaped from police custody last August after authorities found 630 packets of heroin in his home, could face as much as 17 years in state prison and $255,000 in fines.

Ryan Forrest Kiernan, of Lenape Lane, appeared before Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff, and pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver and to escape on Aug. 30, 2018.

According to court records Tpr. Kevin Hibson was executing a search warrant on Kiernan’s home, when he discovered the heroin, digital scales, a bag of suspected methamphetamine, a glass smoking pipe, syringes and $2,219 in U.S. currency.

Police say that while they were in Kiernan’s home, he was put in handcuffs on a parole violation, when he suddenly got up and ran out of his residence and made his way into a wooded area where he continued to flee from the scene.

Kiernan was apprehended a few days later.

On Monday, Kiernan told his attorney Timothy Michaels that he was not happy with the plea deal that had been worked out with District Attorney Jeff Mitchell and he wanted the matter continued until April.

Judge Shurtleff said if he didn’t wish to plea that day, Kiernan was already on the jury trial calendar for this week and should be ready for a trial which could start in a neighboring courtroom moments afterwards in the Wyoming County Courthouse in Tunkhannock.

The judge even called the jail warden from the bench to make sure Kiernan had civilian clothes available that he could slip into, if a trial were to proceed.

After a bit of discussion, Kiernan said he could accept the guilty plea deal after all.

Judge Shurtleff said he would be sentenced at a later date.

Others entering pleas Monday in Tunkhannock:

*James Bennett Kimmel, 55, of Monroe Township, pleaded guilty to terroristic threats on April 23, 2018.

*James Steven Lezinsky, 61, of Hop Bottom, pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude officer on May 6, 2017.

*Patrick Brian Mason, 23, of Nicholson, pleaded no contest to harassment on Aug. 11, 2018; and pleaded no contest to open lewdness on Aug. 11, 2018.

*Mark Anthony Rohan, 36, of Springville, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance on June 26, 2017; and to possession of drug paraphernalia on June 26. 2017.

*Andrew Nicholas Thomas, 26, of Nicholson, pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude police on July 21, 2018.

*Austin Michael Troyano, 21, of Tunkhannock, pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance on March 12, 2018.

*Victoria Ventura, 59, of Rome, pleaded guilty to DUI, third offense, on Feb. 8, 2018.

*Robert Edward Zagata, 29, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to DUI, second offense, on Nov. 22, 2017; and to DUI of a controlled substance, third offense, on May 12, 2018.