An auto mechanic and a former jail guard suspected of sneaking drugs to inmates in the Erie County Correctional Facility pleaded guilty Wednesday to cocaine-trafficking charges.
George J. Furlet Jr., 28, and Rick Pilarski, 31, pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Mario J. Rossetti to cocaine-sale charges carrying possible 15-year prison terms.
Rossetti allowed both to remain free on bail pending their Jan. 30 sentencing. Court officials said both men, first-time offenders, could be placed on probation in the case.
Prosecutors agreed to the pre-indictment plea deals because of the stiff prison terms both now face, Peter A. Weinmann, chief of the Erie County district attorney's Narcotics Bureau, told the judge.
When the judge asked Furlet where the Aug. 1 drug transaction that led to their arrests took place, the auto mechanic replied, "In front of my mother's house."
Weinmann said Pilarski was arrested at his home on Como Park Boulevard in Lancaster shortly after Furlet sold an ounce of cocaine for $900 to an undercover police officer in front of the home on Pine Ridge Road in Cheektowaga he shares with his mother.
The prosecutor said Pilarski had delivered the cocaine to the Furlet home, unaware Cheektowaga and Buffalo narcotics officers already had spent two months investigating allegations he was secretly delivering drugs to the correctional facility in Alden.
When Pilarski was arrested in his home, officers found him carrying another ounce of cocaine, Weinmann said.
Weinmann and District Attorney Frank J. Clark lauded the prison drug probe carried out by Buffalo Police Detectives Bob Swanson and John Simonian, Lt. Kevin Kelly, Sgt. George Adymy and Cheektowaga Police Detective Rich Kozell.
The two prosecutors both declined to comment when asked if the arrests of Pilarski and Furlet ended the jail drug probe.