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Pa. man sentenced in host of Franklin Co. robberies

June 14, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Greencastle, Pa., man convicted of burglarizing businesses to steal cigarettes so he allegedly could raise money to buy drugs was sentenced on Wednesday to state prison in Franklin County Court.

James Edward Byrd Jr., 42, of 144 S. Carlisle St., also was sentenced on a 2006 cocaine delivery conviction, according to court records. The sentences handed down by Judge Carol Van Horn totaled three years and nine months to 20 years in prison according to court records.

Van Horn paroled Byrd on a theft case to begin serving the burglary and drug sentences, according to records.

Pennsylvania State Police charged Byrd with several counts of selling cocaine to a police informant at two different Antrim Township addresses between March and May in 2006. Byrd pleaded guilty to one delivery charge in January, according to records.

State police said Byrd and two others, Joshua Ingream and Erica Lynch, participated in a series of burglaries at the Molly Pitcher Mini Mart at 13640 Molly Pitcher Highway South in Greencastle, on March 10, 19, 24 and 28. In the last break-in, police said the owner caught Lynch inside the store stealing cigarettes and held her until police arrived, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

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Greencastle police also charged Byrd in a March 13 burglary at Dollar General at 514 N. Antrim Way in which six prepaid cell phones and 15 PlayStation 2 games were reported missing.

Affidavits in the cases stated that the stolen cigarettes were being sold in a bar on Jonathan Street in Hagerstown and that the money was used to buy crack cocaine.

Ingream, 21, and Lynch, 19, both of 128 S. Jefferson St., have been charged in the burglaries, but have yet to have their preliminary hearings, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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