VALPARAISO | A Lake County Sheriff's Department deputy made an initial court appearance Monday morning on numerous felony drug counts, including accusations of manufacturing and intending to distribute steroids.
Pleas of not guilty were entered on behalf of 29-year-old Gary Pilipovich and the charges were combined with related counts filed in June.
A trial was scheduled for July 8, with preliminary hearings May 17 and June 7, according to Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.
The latest charges include Class B felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and manufacture of a controlled substance. Both counts carry a potential of six to 20 years behind bars.
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 last week.
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.
Defense attorney Larry Rogers told the judge Monday that duplicate charges were filed.
The charges stem from a search of Pilipovich's Willowcreek Estates apartment in Portage in June triggered when Pilipovich complained about mold.