UPDATE: Scott County coroner resigns, pleads guilty in federal weapons, ammunition theft case
John Goble faces additional charges in state court
Update from May 11, 2022:
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After 20-years as the coroner in Scott County, 68-year old John Goble resigned at midnight Wednesday and later that day pleaded guilty in a federal weapons and ammunition theft case, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Goble admitted before Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove in U.S. District Court he conspired with a Kentucky State Trooper to secure weapons and nearly $40,000 worth of ammunition that belonged to the state police supply branch in Frankfort.
The report says Goble told the court he conspired with two other people in the theft operation over a four-year period, stored the weapons in his office and that he knew it was wrong.
As part of the plea deal, Goble waived his right to a jury trial and the ability to appeal his plea, conviction and sentence, according to the report.
Goble remains free on bond pending his scheduled sentencing on August 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Frankfort.
The maximum sentence he could receive is five-years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and restitution.
Despite the guilty plea, Goble’s legal troubles are not over. He faces additional charges in state court.
According to court records, Goble was indicted March 7 on seven charges, including two counts of receiving stolen property, abuse of public trust, two counts of official misconduct, perjury and first-degree possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone).
The grand jury also charged that in 2017, Goble used a vehicle registered to the Scott County Fiscal Court to transport donor eyes from the Kentucky Eye Bank to West Virginia for personal profit. The perjury charge stems from Goble testifying under oath that he used his daughter’s car to transport the organs when he’s alleged to have known the vehicle belonged to the county government, according to the report.
Goble has refuted the claims he delivered donor eyes for personal profit, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The grand jury also alleged Goble transported moonshine for sale in a vehicle owned by the county government.
From 2016 to 2018, Goble allegedly abused public trust by authorizing monthly payments of $500 in public money to Deputy Coroner Nathan Morris, knowing that Morris didn’t work monthly in Scott County, according to the report.
The indictment also alleged from May 2017 through December of that year, Goble illegally possessed a controlled substance when he had 90 oxycodone tablets, according to the report.
Goble is scheduled to go on trial on the state charges on November 14, 2022 at 9:00 a.m., according to the report.
Original story below from May 2, 2022:
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Scott County Coroner John Goble has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors and plans to plead guilty next week in a weapons and ammunition theft case, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The report says Goble and his attorney filed a motion for re-arraignment for the purposes of pleading guilty, which was approved, according to the report.
Goble is due in court May 11, according to the newspaper.
Goble couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, according to the report.
Goble and former Kentucky State Trooper Michael Crawford were indicted in March of last year on two counts of conspiracy to commit theft, according to federal court records.
The two men are accused in the indictment of conspiring with another state trooper to illegally obtain weapons and ammunition that belonged to Kentucky State Police.
An internal investigation by KSP found that more than $40,000 in ammunition had been illegally removed from the state police Supply Branch in Frankfort and delivered to Goble’s house, according to the indictment.
The indictment also says Goble and Crawford met with a state trooper in 2017 to buy select guns that were going to be designated as ‘surplus’ and sold by state police.
Goble received three M1A rifles and 10 Remington shotguns which a state trooper illegally obtained from state police, according to the internal KSP investigation chronicled in the indictment.
The indictment alleges the stolen ammunition was initially stored in Goble’s office, but that Goble had an employee move it to the basement of Goble’s home in December 2017.
Prosecutors say the alleged conspiracy lasted from 2014-to-2018.
Goble was also indicted on state charges of receiving stolen property, official misconduct, abuse of public trust, possession of a controlled substance and perjury, according to court records.