PITTSBURGH – An 80-year-old man who pleaded guilty to drug charges sold crack cocaine from his house and gave some of the drugs to prostitutes in exchange for sex, his lawyer said.
Felix Cocco, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said Cocco had been dealing drugs for nearly a year when he was arrested in November. Officers seized crack cocaine, a digital scale and packaging materials, police said. Authorities said they caught Cocco dealing again in February.
"I was trying to stay alive, your honor — pay my bills," Cocco told the Allegheny County judge.
Cocco's lawyer, Martha Bailor, told the court that Cocco wanted to remain sexually active after his wife died three years ago and turned to prostitutes.
"He decided it's cheaper to pay for sex with crack than cash," she said.
Prosecutors said they would not seek mandatory sentences if the defense agreed to a six-to-18-month jail term.
The judge ordered an evaluation of Cocco's health after Bailor expressed concern about his vulnerability in jail. Cocco remains under house arrest while he awaits sentencing scheduled for Oct. 2.