The deputy pleaded innocent to all charges.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A Mahoning County deputy sheriff has been released from the Trumbull County jail after posting $25,000 bond on 16 charges of deception to obtain drugs.
William Frease, 51, of Southern Boulevard in Boardman, pleaded innocent Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Prosecutors had asked Judge John Stuard to set Frease's bond at $50,000, but Atty. DesiraeDiPiero, who represented Frease at the arraignment, asked for a lower bond, saying Frease is a lifelong area resident and has worked for 28 years at the sheriff's department.
The judge set bond at $25,000 and scheduled Frease's pretrial hearing for Oct. 18.
If convicted of the all the charges, he could face up to 24 years in prison.
What happened: Frease was arrested at his home Wednesday by Trumbull County deputies, a few hours after he was secretly indicted by a Trumbull County grand jury.
Ernie Cook, chief of operations at the jail, said Frease is charged with trying to illegally obtain OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacies helped investigate.
Officials declined to say exactly how Frease got the drugs or how much.
On leave: Mahoning County sheriff's officials said Frease has been on paid administrative leave from the department since August.
Frease is a sergeant and has been with the department since June 1977.
Mahoning County Sheriff Randall Wellington could not be reached.