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Thief caught in drug sweep sent to prison

Former insurance agent Larry Argo, who served jail time for stealing from an elderly client, is headed to state prison for a 15-month stay.

Argo pleaded no contest last year to exploiting the elderly after he was charged with taking $20,000 from a woman in her late 80s. He served less than a year in jail in that case, but violated his probation only one month after his release.

That probation charge came in February as police conducted a sweep at the well-known Pine Hill drug corner in New Port Richey. Police said they caught Argo trying to buy cocaine.

Argo appeared Tuesday before Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Stanley Mills to plead no contest to the drug charge and to violating his probation from the earlier case.

In addition to serving prison time, Argo was ordered to pay $8,500 in restitution to the family of the woman he exploited.

Mills, in sentencing Argo, made a connection between the drug charge and his earlier legal troubles.

"This sort of answers the question about where all the money is going to," Mills said in court.

"There has got to be some punishment here."