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COURT Another drug count levied against ex-deputy sheriff



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The new indictment stems from a 2003 arrest.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A former Mahoning County deputy sheriff already awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges now faces a new drug trafficking charge.

A grand jury returned an indictment this week against Michael S. Terlecky, 49, of Leffingwell Road, Canfield, that says he either sold or tried to sell the painkiller OxyContin on Aug. 29, 2003, in the county.

Terlecky was originally indicted on seven drug trafficking counts in September 2003. Authorities say Terlecky sold or tried to sell the painkiller OxyContin seven times between April 7 and Aug. 15, 2003.

Four of those seven charges are third-degree felonies that carry maximum penalties of five years in prison. The other three are fourth-degree felonies that carry 18-month maximum penalties.

The latest indictment, a third-degree felony, stems from the same course of alleged criminal conduct that took place in 2003, said Robert E. Duffrin, an assistant county prosecutor. Terlecky is scheduled to be arraigned next week.

Duffrin said law enforcement officials found other drugs in Terlecky's Canfield home in August 2003, and authorities still must go through them to determine which are illegal. Depending on what is found, evidence could be presented to the grand jury for yet another drug trafficking indictment, he added.

Terlecky, who is represented by Atty. Don L. Hanni Jr., pleaded innocent to the first seven drug charges and is awaiting a trial that has been continued several times.

Defense counsel and prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to work on a plea agreement in August 2004.

Since then, trial dates in April and May have been postponed. The upcoming trial date, scheduled for Wednesday, also likely will be continued, Duffrin said.

Terlecky has been out on bond pending trial.

He pleaded guilty in 1990 to taking mob bribes while a lieutenant in the sheriff's office. He served about eight months in prison for the federal bribery charge.




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