CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man pleaded guilty Tuesday for his involvement with a home invasion and robbery in June of 2015.
Joseph Michael Mazza, an inmate of the Jefferson County Jail, pleaded guilty to robbery, criminal conspiracy/robbery, firearms not to be carried without a license and possession of firearm prohibited.
He was sentenced by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to four to eight years in state prison.
These charges stem from an incident in Kittanning when Mazza and two other people entered a home demanding money and drugs that they believed had been stolen from them.
Prior to sentencing, Mazza commented that he thought it was “a fair plea,” adding that he was appreciative of it. It was noted that he had worked with prosecutors investigating the case by testifying in a preliminary hearing for his co-defendant, Brandon Patino.
According to court documents, police had been tipped off that Patino was selling drugs out of his West Long Avenue apartment in DuBois. A search warrant was executed on the residence, but Patino was not at home. Officers found guns, $15,000 in cash and items used to package drugs.
During Patino’s preliminary hearing in March, Mazza testified that he knew Patino was receiving meth from California in the mail and selling it. He wasn’t sure how much he was getting but said he thought it was a lot. He stated the drugs were coming in voodoo dolls that were hollow.
Not long after the raid at his apartment, Patino called Mazza asking for help. “He wanted to get money back from a girl who robbed him,” Mazza said.
The two men put bandanas on their faces and went into the home. Patino hit a “kid” that was in the kitchen when they entered. They held the occupants at gun point, Mazza said. Patino hit the girl who supposedly robbed him as he was trying to figure out where the drugs were.
Karli Chambers also entered the residence. She pulled the phone wires out and yelled at the girl, he said.
Mazza said he was nervous and at one point the gun went off. They dispersed, he said, with Chambers grabbing the cell phones, a wallet and a purse.
Patino gave him more than two bricks of heroin for his help.
Mazza also pleaded guilty to possession of firearm prohibited and possession of a controlled substance in a second case. He was sentenced to a concurrent period of four to eight years in state prison.
According to that affidavit, a probation officer discovered Mazza had guns in his possession. After police executed a search warrant on his residence, they found an assault rifle, numerous glass pipes, bongs, over 100 grams of marijuana, 32.30 grams of cocaine, knives, brass knuckles, a stun gun and more drug paraphernalia.
In a third case, Mazza pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property. For this he was given a concurrent sentence of one to two years in prison.
In July Patino, 34, pleaded guilty to robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, former convict not to possess firearms, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy. He was sentenced by Ammerman to a total of eight to 16 years in state prison.
For the complete story from Patino’s preliminary hearing, click here.