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Convicted Dunbar smuggler shouldn't be granted work release, DA argues

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Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, 3:51 p.m.
 

A Fayette County woman who smuggled cellphones, marijuana and other contraband to inmates in a state prison should not be allowed to participate in a work-release program because of the nature of the offense, the district attorney argues in a court motion filed Friday.

Leann Cellurale, 36, of Dunbar Township, was sentenced on Aug. 13 to three to 23 months in the State Correctional Institute at Muncy in Lycoming County after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver contraband, possession and two misdemeanor counts of contraband.

Cellurale worked in the dietary department of the State Correctional Institution at Fayette, where she provided inmates with forbidden items, including marijuana, phones, hair dye, Muslim oil and incense, according to a criminal complaint.

At the request of defense attorney Jeremy Davis, Senior Judge Gerald R. Solomon modified the sentence on Aug. 20 to allow Cellurale to serve her time at the prison in Greene County so she can participate in its work-release program. Cellurale is employed by Cellurale Garden Center in Dunbar Township, according to the motion.

Fayette's jail does not have a work-release program. She has agreed to pay all costs associated with her incarceration in Greene, according to Solomon's order.

District Attorney Jack Heneks filed a motion asking Solomon to reconsider allowing Cellurale to participate in a work-release program. The motion contends said work release “is inappropriate as the defendant's conviction is for bringing contraband to the SCI Fayette while working as a prison employee.”

Heneks argued the offense disqualifies Cellurale from a work-release program. During plea negotiations, the agreement was for the sentence to be served in a state prison, according to Heneks.

Heneks indicated he will present the motion in court on Monday.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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