Georgetown, KY – Scott County Coroner John Goble resigned after 20 years in office on Wednesday morning and pleaded guilty to federal charges for stealing ammunition from the Kentucky State Police (KSP).
A federal grand jury indicted Goble and retired KSP Trooper Michael Crawford in March of 2021 in connection with a four-year scheme to sell guns and ammunition taken from the state police, WKYT reported.
Goble, who had been Scott County coroner for 20 years, pleaded guilty on May 11 to the charge of stealing ammunition, WLEX reported.
Prosecutors said Goble and Crawford stole nearly $40,000 in ammunition belonging to the state police supply branch located in Frankfort, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
The indictment also alleged Goble and Crawford met with another state trooper in 2017 to purchase other surplus weapons that being sold by the state police.
Prosecutors said Goble bought three M1A rifles and 10 Remington shotguns that had been illegally obtained by a state trooper, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
He told the judge that he and two other people were involved in the scheme and that the stolen ammunition was stored in the coroner’s office during the four-year period when they were stealing it.
“I conspired to possess ammunition owned by the Kentucky State Police over a four year period with two subjects,” Goble told the judge at his hearing. “In doing so, I stored those weapons in my office, and I knew that it was wrong. I did this with a KSP trooper and a lieutenant, who I knew well. I did not hesitate to get access to this ammunition.”
Prosecutors said Goble had an employee move the ammunition from the coroner’s office basement to his home in 2017, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
In exchange for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit theft relating to weapons and ammunition, Goble’s charge of conspiring to steal weapons from the state police was dismissed, WLEX reported.
-Goble entered a plea of guilty to count 1 of conspiracy to defraud the the U.S.
-Count 2 was dropped.
-Sentencing date is 8/12 at 1:30pm in Frankfort federal court.
-He faces up to 5 years in prison and a max fine of $250,000. He would also be responsible for restitution.
— Christiana Ford (@christianaford_) May 11, 2022
The judge scheduled Goble’s sentencing for Aug. 12 in federal court, WLEX reported.
The plea agreement allowed Goble to remain free on bond until sentencing, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
If convicted, Goble is facing up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
He could also be ordered to pay restitution, WLEX reported.
Goble initially called the investigation and indictment against him “politically charged,” the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
He had changed his tune dramatically before his plea hearing and admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong at the time he did it.
Goble’s defense attorney, Fred Peters, said the plea agreement was his client’s only option, WKYT reported.
“We determined that Mr. Goble’s chances at trial were not very good and there was a whole lot of evidence against him and he really didn’t have any choice but to plead guilty,” Peters said.
Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington said deputy coroners would fill in for Goble until the Republican primary, WLEX reported.
Covington said the winner of the GOP primary would finish out Goble’s term.