The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

April 23, 2012

Ex-officer says love led him astray

SUNBURY —  A Bloomsburg University and former Sunbury police officer accused of participating in a drug ring told police that he became entangled in the criminal enterprise because of his love life, according to court documents.

Christopher Chilcote, 33, of Danville, was arrested in August 2011 after a 17-month investigation that started when Point Township police began watching Robert Reichner, of Northumberland. Information began being compiled by officers that revealed that Reichner was traveling to Baltimore to purchase cocaine to distribute throughout the Valley, Northumberland County Court documents said.

Further investigation revealed that several other people, including Chilcote, helped Reichner transport the drugs, police allege.

Chilcote’s girlfriend, Jamie VonBlohn, 27, of Danville, was also arrested in connection with the drug ring, and they both were sent to the Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $100,000 straight cash bail.

Chilcote posted the $100,000 and VonBlohn’s bail was reduced to $15,000 and was posted.

Chilcote and VonBlohn have been charged with drug-related offenses, including corrupt organization and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

Chilcote appeared before Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor on Monday for a hearing on pre-trial motions.

Saylor denied a motion by defense attorney Peter Campana, of Williamsport, to suppress statements Chilcote made to police.

Court documents said after police spoke with VonBlohn’s brother, Reichner, they interviewed VonBlohn, and she denied being involved in any organization and left the interview.

Police said several minutes later Chilcote showed up and eventually told police he knew Reichner was buying drugs.

Chilcote then told police he was paid to drive Reichner to Maryland where sometimes as much as $10,000 worth of cocaine was purchased, court documents said.

Chilcote was present when cocaine was being used and was present during a controlled substance purchase that was under police surveillance, court documents said.

Chilcote resigned as a Sunbury police officer after Police Chief Steve Mazzeo told him he was under investigation. Chilcote quit, and he turned in his police-issued equipment, Mazzeo said.

According to court documents, Chilcote said Mazzeo told him to drop charges against a Sunbury suspect because Chilcote’s credibility was already ruined because of his involvement with Reichner.

Chilcote said he was afraid to come to police because they wouldn’t believe he was not part of the organization, he was just in love with VonBlohn, police documents said.

Chilcote told police he was jealous and whenever he told VonBlohn to avoid drugs, she would tell him she was going to use them anyway, so if he didn’t want to see her get hurt, he had two choices, he could leave VonBlohn or he could be around her so he could watch her, documents said.

Reichner testified on Monday that wasn’t exactly the case.

“He would say that he could be of use to me because he had the in when and if police were watching me,” Reichner testified.

“On some of the trips to Maryland, Chris would drive because he said if they ever got pulled over he would get them out of it because he had the badge.”

Saylor asked Reichner why he would discuss dealing drugs with a police officer.

“I didn’t at first, but he was with my sister and she told me he was cool,” he said. “At first we didn’t even want him around, but he was with my sister.”

Reichner is incarcerated in the Northumberland County Prison and Chilcote and VonBlohn remain free on bail.

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