SHAMOKIN - An 18-year-old male who police claim is the leader of a local "Goon Squad" waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and was ordered by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III to appear for plea court May 19.

Ryan Forte, of 18 S. Market St., Apt. 1, Shamokin, whose hearing had been continued twice at the request of the arresting officer, will either plead guilty or no contest, or seek a trial by pleading not guilty next month in the Court of Common Pleas.

Forte, who remains in Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, was among five people charged by Patrolman William Miner in connection with the Feb. 23 assault of Keith "KC" Long, 18, of Shamokin, in the 400 block of East Independence Street.

Long suffered a broken nose, a cut on his lower lip that required five stitches, four damaged teeth, broken braces and severe facial swelling that required emergency room treatment at Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital and follow-up care by an orthodontist.

Forte, who was represented by public defender Melissa Norton, faces felonies of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and riot, and misdemeanors of simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Prior to the arrests, police said the Goon Squad had been involved in fights, vandalism and intimidation during the first two months of the year in the city.