HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — An Erie County jail deputy has admitted to a misdemeanor count of possessing cocaine.

John Gugino, a 45-year-old Hamburg resident, was stopped on Milestrip Road and searched by a Sheriff’s deputy in October 2020. It happened around 10:30 at night while Gugino was off duty.

During the search, authorities say “a small quantity of cocaine” was found in his vehicle. Initially charged with a felony, the accusation against Gugino was reduced to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance due to the low weight of the drug.

On Tuesday morning, Gugino pleaded guilty. When he’s sentenced on July 19, he could spend up to a year in jail.

For now, Gugino remains released on his own recognizance and suspended without pay. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says a disciplinary hearing is forthcoming.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.