Felony charges dropped in underpaid Mountain Dew case

PERRY COUNTY, Pa. — Felony charges filed against a man who underpaid 43 cents for a soda in Pennsylvania have been dropped.

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Joseph Sobolewski said he thought he paid the right price at a convenience store in Perry County, Pennsylvania.

He said a sign on the Mountain Dew cooler said “2 for $3,” so he left $2 on the counter and left. But a single bottle of soda was priced higher at $2.29, so he underpaid not only the 29 cents for the bottle but also the state’s sales tax that brought the total to 43 cents, Penn Live reported.

Store workers called police who found Sobolewski, charging him with a felony.

He was jailed for seven days on a $50,000 cash-only bond and faced up to seven years in prison because of the state’s “three-strikes” law that requires a third theft charge to be filed as a felony, no matter the amount.

Sobolewski’s bond was later changed to an unsecured bond, according to court documents.

He had been convicted twice for theft and has other convictions for DUI and marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

>>Previous story: Man charged with felony under three-strikes law after police say he underpaid for Mountain Dew

Earlier this month, after Sobolewski’s story got nationwide attention, prosecutors dropped the theft charge and reduced a second charge relating to a driving offense from a misdemeanor to a summary, Penn Live reported.

Court records confirm that the retail theft charge was withdrawn and the driving offense was changed with the summary violation.

Sobolewski was notified by his public defender that the theft charge was dropped and that he now has a court date for the summary charge, Penn Live reported.