Bluff man convicted on drug count

Thursday, February 14, 2002

GREENVILLE, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff man faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison after a jury convicted him on a drug possession charge this week.

Jon Kiser, Wayne County prosecuting attorney, said an Iron County jury convicted Billy Lynn Blocker, 41, of possessing one tablet of diazepam. The case was heard in Iron County on a change of venue from Wayne County.

The charge stemmed from an August 1999 traffic stop north of Greenville.

A highway patrol officer observed a vehicle stopped in the middle of the northbound lane of U.S. 67, Kiser said. The defendant and his brother, Kerry Ray, were switching places in the car.

Blocker had one diazepam tablet in his pocket, Kiser said.

Kiser said the six-man, six-woman jury took one hour and 15 minutes to convict Blocker who was represented by Poplar Bluff attorneys Danny Moore and Steve Walsh.

Kiser said Blocker was charged as a "prior and persistent felony offender" and had a 1978 conviction from Butler County for grand theft and had pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in Jefferson County in 1993.

The prior and persistent offender status takes sentencing away from the jury and gives it to the circuit judge. Sentencing is set for April 4.

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