A Springfield man caught with $20,000 worth of drugs and a loaded gun during a traffic stop will spend more than 20 years in prison.
Robert Wilcox, 39, was arrested in June after police became suspicious of a vehicle he was riding in on Plum Street. They stopped the car after the driver failed to use a turn signal twice.
A police dog was called, and after a sweep of the SUV, officers found about 100 grams of heroin, packaged for distribution, a small package of crack cocaine, a digital scale and a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol, according to the report.
He was convicted by a jury Oct. 7 on felony counts of drug trafficking, tampering with evidence, having a weapon as a felon, improper handling of a firearm, and two counts of drug possession.
Despite this, Wilcox professed his innocence before sentencing Friday.
"If I was guilty of this particular crime that they (are) accusing me of, I would have remorse, but I have no remorse for something I didn't do," Wilcox told Judge Richard O'Neill. "I ask that you have mercy on me and my sins."
Characterized as a "mid-level street dealer" by Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Picek, Wilcox's criminal record dates back to 1993 and includes multiple convictions for drug-related crimes.
The most time he'd served in prison was five years. Given his repeat offenses and lack of remorse for the crime, O'Neill sentenced Wilcox to the maximum: 20 and a half years in prison. Because of his lack of finances, he was not ordered to pay a fine.
Good instincts by the officers patrolling the night of Wilcox's arrest helped them get a dealer off the streets, Picek said.
"It's about $20,000 worth of heroin, so a very large amount," he said. "We hope that this (conviction) also sends a message to the other drug dealers like (Wilcox) that if they commit crimes like this, they are also going to go to prison for a very long time."
Wilcox indicated he intends to file an appeal.