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WARREN Ex-deputy sent to prison for drugs

Published: Wed, April 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.

Before sentencing, Gore apologized to his family and the court.



WARREN -- A former Mahoning County deputy sheriff has been sentenced to one year in prison on drug charges.

Robert Gore, 41, of Logan Arms, Liberty, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two charges of trafficking in cocaine and one charge of conspiracy to commit trafficking of cocaine. Judge John Stuard of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court sentenced Gore to one year on each charge but said the sentences will run concurrently.

Gore, who read from a prepared statement before sentencing, apologized to his family and to the court.

"I have no one to blame but myself," said Gore through his tears.

History of case: The former deputy 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 withdrew that plea in November, however, saying that he was not pleased with his legal representation. He then hired Atty. Alan Matavich to represent him.

Dave Toepfer, an assistant county prosecutor, 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 in exchange for Gore's guilty pleas.

If Gore had gone to trial and was convicted of all the charges, he could have faced up to 15 years in prison.

Related case: 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.

Prosecutors 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, township police said.



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