Suspect in city robbery arraigned before judge

The suspect from Tuesday’s armed robbery at Puff Discount Cigarette Store was arraigned before Judge Gary Whiteman at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Joseph Lee Bree, 29, is accused of robbing the cigarette store at 1900 Riverside Drive at knife point on Tuesday morning. Bree was brought into custody by South Williamsport police and is facing two felony robbery charges as well as charges of theft, possession of a weapon and simple assault.

According to an affidavit completed by Officer Jacob Summers, Bree allegedly stole four packs of cigarettes from the store valued at $22.55, and $456.01 in cash.

During his arraignment, Bree admitted to having been addicted to heroin in the past, and having a relapse about a month ago after a period of sobriety.

Whiteman set Bree’s bail at $200,000.

“I have to provide for the safety of the community, which based on this affidavit, we can agree was jeopardized yesterday,” Whiteman told Bree when setting the bail.

Bree is being held at the Lycoming County prison. A preliminary hearing is set for July 7.