A longtime Johnson Lane resident was sentenced to 2-14 years in prison on Monday after being convicted by a jury of multiple drug felonies.
Robert Vieth Wilson, 65, has indicated on several occasions that it’s his intention to appeal his conviction for charges of trafficking, sales and possession of methamphetamine, 4.4 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms and concentrated marijuana.
“I know the truth will come out,” he said as his friends and family watched from the gallery.
Wilson was given credit for 833 days time served since his first arrest on Oct. 16, 2019.
Attorney Christopher Day recommended Wilson be sentenced to 19-48 months in prison with credit for time served on the 11 counts the jury voted to convict him on.
Day said that psilocybin mushrooms are being legalized in other states and appear to be following the same path as cannabis.
The defense attorney cited the death of Wilson’s wife in 2015 as the cause of his spiral into drug use. Prior to that he had a clean criminal record. Day argued that Wilson’s crimes were essentially victimless.
“He is not a drug trafficker,” Day said. “He is a harmless and hapless individual. He is not a criminal master mind. He won’t hurt the community.”
Prosecutor A.J. Hames told District Judge Tom Gregory that Wilson had significant amounts of drugs in his home.
“This was a big operation,” he said.
Hames said that Wilson had been arrested in 2017 for concentrating marijuana in his home and that he’d entered a no contest plea to misdemeanor introduction of a drug not allowed in interstate commerce in 2018 and placed on two years probation.
His arrest in 2019 violated that probation and he was ordered to serve that sentence.
Hames recommended an aggregate sentence of 20-53 years in prison, which Day argued would amount to a death sentence.
Wilson benefitted in the reduction in sentences approved by the 2019 Legislature, which took effect July 1, 2020. Had he been sentenced under the old scheme, he would have faced multiple life terms.
One of the issues at trial was the information provided by a confidential informant resulted in up to five different buys, something Gregory said resulted in an unusual stacking of charges.
The informant refused to testify at Wilson’s trial after he violated the probation he’d won by participating in the buys and was sent to prison. The Record-Courier reported on the informant’s case, including his eventual sentencing.
Gregory sentenced Wilson to 1-10 years on the first count of trafficking and 19-48 months for the following five counts related to Wilson’s sale of drugs to an informant.
Wilson received a consecutive 1-4-year sentence for drugs found during a search of his home and ran three felonies and a gross misdemeanor concurrent.
Wilson has 21 days from Monday to file an appeal of his conviction.
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