A judge who has said he favors legalizing drugs is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine.
Common Pleas Judge Michael Gallagher, 39, appeared before a federal magistrate Friday and was released pending an Aug. 21 hearing. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
He was arrested and his house searched on Thursday.
Court papers said an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent met with him on July 21 and watched him smoke crack. Several days later, the agent was invited to the judge’s house to buy cocaine and was arrested, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Edwards said in an affidavit.
Gallagher, a Republican elected in 1991, was suspended on Friday.