Police said Cocco had been dealing drugs for nearly a year when he was arrested in November. Officers seized crack cocaine, a digital scale and packaging materials, police said. Authorities said they caught Cocco dealing again in February.
When an Allegheny County judge asked Cocco why he chose a new profession so late in life, Cocco replied, "I was trying to stay alive, your honor _ pay my bills."
Cocco's lawyer, Martha Bailor, told the court her client wanted to remain sexually active after his wife died three years ago, and turned to prostitutes.
"He decided it's cheaper to pay for sex with crack than cash," she said. Prosecutors said they would not seek mandatory sentences if the defense agreed to a six-to-18-month jail term.
The judge ordered an evaluation of Cocco's health after Bailor expressed concern about Cocco's vulnerability in jail. Cocco remains under house arrest while he awaits sentencing scheduled for Oct. 2.