Son sentenced for crime spree; mom awaits fate

January 3, 2014
Pamela and Nicholas Cessna

Half of a mother-son duo charged with a crime spree last year pleaded guilty Friday in Washington County Court and was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.

Nicholas Cessna, 22, of Hothouse Lane, Eighty Four, also was ordered to serve five years’ probation after his incarceration.

His mother, Pamela, 54, of the same address, entered a guilty plea last month before Judge Katherine B. Emery, and she was prepared to testify against her son had he gone to trial, said Chad Schneider, Washington County first assistant district attorney.

The Cessnas were charged a year ago with conspiracy and burglary for breaking into homes in North Strabane and South Strabane townships and the Bentleyville area of Somerset Township. Jewelry valued at about $75,000 and at least one gun were stolen. At a preliminary hearing, a witness testified that jewelry was sold to obtain cash for at least one heroin purchase in Pittsburgh. Police said they found drug paraphernalia in the Cessnas’ home.

“Both were also charged in a prescription pill scheme, or ring,” said Assistant District Attorney Jerome Moschetta. “They were alleged to have been manufacturing false prescriptions and passing them at pharmacies all over Pennsylvania.”

The Cessnas were among 13 people charged in May in connection with the state attorney general’s investigation into the prescription ring, which obtained thousands of narcotics, including oxycodone and Adderall, in seven counties, including Washington.

The Washington County Adult Probation Office is preparing a pre-sentence report on Pamela Cessna, whose plea deal did not include a specific sentence.

Moschetta said he anticipates, however, that she could receive a sentence similar to that of her son.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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