NORRISTOWN Disbarred defense lawyer Gregory Noonan pleaded guilty Monday to illegally selling the prescription drug oxycodone.
"I accept responsibility," a handcuffed Noonan told reporters as deputies escorted him out of a Montgomery County courtroom.
"Greg knows he made some serious mistakes, and that's why he pleaded guilty," said his attorney, Brad Wertheimer.
Noonan will return to court after a presentencing investigation is completed, Judge William R. Carpenter ordered.
The 53-year-old from Lansdale pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of manufacturing, delivering, or possessing drugs and faces a mandatory minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years on each.
He also pleaded guilty to criminal use of a communication facility for using his cellphone to arrange the drug deals, and for dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, which means he used the money he earned from selling drugs for another illegal activity.
Both are felonies and carry additional penalties, though sentences for the different offenses could run concurrently rather than one after the other.
The resolution was not unexpected. Samuel C. Stretton, the lawyer for the disbarment proceeding that Noonan had requested, said in February that Noonan was "in the process of changing and reforming his life and dealing with his addiction issues."
Montgomery County authorities arrested Noonan in December after a tip launched an undercover operation in which he sold nearly 360 pills of oxycodone to an undercover officer on Nov. 23 and again on Dec. 19 as they sat in his Jaguar outside his Norristown office.
The Nov. 23 transaction occurred the day after a jury found a client Noonan had represented guilty of illegally prescribing large amounts of oxycodone and other drugs to patients.
Noonan looked vastly different from his normal courtroom appearance. The well-tailored suit and tie he usually wore during court proceedings were replaced by a sport coat and open-collar shirt. His hair was fully gray, and his face, especially, suggested he had lost weight since that trial.
As is routine, Carpenter reviewed details of the agreement and asked the defendant if he understood and knowingly agreed to them. At one point, the judge talked about extra mandatory jail time that was applicable because of the number of pills Noonan sold and because the transactions occurred near a school.
"I'm not sure they necessarily apply," Noonan began to argue, before his voice trailed off and Carpenter resumed speaking.
After the court session, Noonan returned to the Chester County Prison, where he is being held without bail.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley said the District Attorney's Office would seek to have Noonan carry out his sentence at a state facility.