WARREN Former Mahoning deputy withdraws his guilty plea
If convicted on all the charges, the former deputy sheriff could face 15 years in prison.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A former Mahoning County deputy sheriff accused of trafficking in cocaine has withdrawn his guilty plea and is asking to have his case set for trial.
Robert Gore, 41, of Logan Arms, Liberty, told Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Monday that his lawyer, John Fowler, did not properly represent him.
The judge allowed Gore to withdraw his plea and set a pretrial conference for Nov. 19.
Gore said he will now be represented by Atty. Charles Curry of Youngstown.
Atty. Jennifer Carroll-Kirr, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, asked the judge to increase Gore's bond to $50,000, saying he may leave the area. Gore had been free on a $15,000 bond.
The judge granted the prosecutor's motion, and Gore was taken to the Trumbull County jail.
The former deputy sheriff pleaded guilty in August to three charges of trafficking in cocaine and one charge of possession of cocaine with a specification that a gun was used in the commission of the crime.
He was scheduled to be sentenced in a few weeks. Carroll-Kirr said she was going to recommend that Gore receive two years in prison.
She noted that in exchange for Gore's guilty pleas, she dismissed three felony charges of trafficking in cocaine and one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking.
Gore will now face all the charges, and if he's convicted on all of them, he could face up to 15 years in prison, Carroll-Kirr said.
Co-defendant: Gore and his co-defendant, Cheryl Bricker, another former Mahoning deputy, were arrested on numerous drug charges in December 1999.
Bricker, 48, pleaded guilty Sept. 19, 2000, to two counts of drug trafficking and one count of conspiracy to traffic in drugs.
She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and four months in a community correctional facility.
Bricker was indicted on eight charges of trafficking in cocaine and one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy to drug trafficking.
Carroll-Kirr said all but three of the charges were dismissed in exchange for her guilty plea.
The two resigned as deputies the day they were arrested.
Liberty police said packets of cocaine were found in the car Gore was using. Most of the cocaine sales authorities investigated took place in Liberty, they said.