Cop faces more charges on steroid accusations

2013-03-12T12:15:00Z 2013-03-12T21:19:05Z Cop faces more charges on steroid accusationsBob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345
March 12, 2013 12:15 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | New drug charges have been filed against a Lake County Sheriff's Department deputy already facing numerous counts stemming from a search of his Portage apartment in June.

Gary Pilipovich, 29, is now charged with Class B felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and manufacture of a controlled substance.

Both counts involve steroids, according to court documents.

Pilipovich is also charged with Class D felony counts of possession of cocaine, maintaining a common nuisance and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Pilipovich, an eight-year veteran of the Lake County Sheriff's Department, is suspended from his job with pay pending charges before the police merit board, department spokeswoman Patti Van Til said Monday.

He was charged in June with felony counts of possessing cocaine, possessing a syringe and possessing a controlled substance. Misdemeanor counts filed at that time included possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

The charges stem from a search of Pilipovich's Willowcreek Estates apartment in June triggered when Pilipovich complained about mold.

Police said they found cocaine in the closet of the master bedroom and marijuana in several locations around the apartment, including in a Lake County sheriff's bag. Police said they also found a multicolored smoking pipe in the apartment and a collection of painkillers, amphetamines and anti-anxiety pills in Pilipovich's red 2000 Pontiac Trans Am car.

The county drug task force was granted a separate search warrant after the apartment manager said she saw and took photographs of vials, a burner, chemistry equipment, cooking implements, hypodermic needles and a nitrous oxide tank in Pilipovich's apartment, according to the warrant. The manager told police she also saw numerous books relating to the use and manufacturing of steroids.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich has said Pilipovich had been on sick leave from the department for about four months while undergoing treatment for cancer.

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