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Judge reverses work release order for former prison employee

| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 10:54 a.m.

A Fayette County woman who smuggled cellphones, marijuana and other contraband to inmates in a state prison will not be released to go to work while serving a jail term.

Senior Judge Gerald R. Solomon this week set aside an earlier order in which he had allowed Leann Cellurale, 36, of Dunbar Township to participate in a work-release program as part of her sentence on contraband charges.

Cellurale was sentenced on Aug. 13 to three to 23 months in the State Correctional Institute at Muncy in Lycoming County as a result of 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 police.

At the request of defense attorney Jeremy Davis, Solomon modified the sentence on Aug. 20 to allow Cellurale to serve her time in the prison in Greene County and participate in its work-release program at the family-owned Cellurale Garden Center in Dunbar Township.

Fayette's jail does not have work release. Cellurale had agreed to pay all costs for her to be incarcerated in Greene.

On Tuesday, Solomon set aside the allowance for work release because District Attorney Jack Heneks objected to it. Heneks contended that work release was too light for a prison smuggler.

Solomon's order noted that he pulled permission for work release because Cellurale's plea bargain stipulated that she not be allowed to participate.

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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