This article was originally published on by Madeleine O’Neil on July 17, 2017 

The drugs were found when police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence in January.

An Erie man received up to 14½ years in state prison Monday for possessing drugs and a gun that police recovered during a search of his residence.

Anthony L. Billinger, 43, was sentenced to seven years and three months to 14½ years in state prison. The sentence, from Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender, was in the standard range of state guidelines.

Billinger, who pleaded guilty in June to possessing heroin and cocaine with the intent to deliver, apologized in court and said he’d been struggling to pay for his daughter’s college education.

“I lost myself,” he said. “Tried to take things into my own hands.”

Erie police said officers recovered five sandwich bags each containing about one gram of cocaine, one sandwich bag containing about 13 grams of heroin and seven bags each containing about one gram of heroin.

Billinger also pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded handgun, which he was prohibited from owning because of a prior aggravated assault conviction in 2003.

The items were found when police executed a search warrant at Billinger’s residence in the 100 block of Chautauqua Boulevard on Jan. 3, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators did surveillance and made controlled buys before executing the search warrant on the residence, police said.

Madeleine O’Neill can be reached at 870-1728 or by email. Follow her on Twitter at