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Three men convicted of drug-related offenses were recently sentenced by Judge Robert Steinke in Platte County District Court.

Terence F. Wickham and Robert J. Lester Jr., both of Columbus, along with Christopher C. Palmateer of David City, were sentenced - in unrelated cases - to three years of probation after being found guilty of attempting to possess, deliver, dispense, distribute or manufacture an exceptionally hazardous substance, a Class IIA felony. Under state law, the trio could have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

Wickham was arrested in late August 2018 after a confidential informant told Columbus Police that he or she was aware of a man called “TeeWick” – the defendant – selling methamphetamine in the Columbus area.

A warrantless arrest affidavit shows that a drug buy was scheduled where the CI was set to purchase $200 of methamphetamine from Wickham on Aug. 21. A drop was scheduled to take place in the 300 block of East 23rd St. Wickham, court records show, indicated that he would be inside of US Cellular, but wanted the CI to get the drugs from the center console of his vehicle which was parked in the parking lot. The CI, court records show, was told to leave cash in the same spot.

The CI, the affidavit says, was searched for contraband prior to heading to Wickham’s vehicle. When he or she returned, the CI was in possession of a baggie containing a crystal substance, later determined to be methamphetamine. The total weight of the narcotics was 3.6 grams.

Wickham was subsequently arrested later that month following an investigation and transported to Platte County Jail.

Lester Jr., who still has one active county case open, was convicted of being in possession of methamphetamine.

Palmateer, 31, was arrested in September 2018 after officers with the Columbus Police Department were dispatched to the 700 block of 23rd Avenue in reference to a report of a suspicious person. Dispatch notified officers that a male subject was passed out in a red car parked in the previously mentioned area.

The defendant was awoken and contact was made. During the interaction, the responding officer noticed a high-powered Ruger pellet gun lying between the front driver and passenger seats, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.

A sizable amount of cash, marijuana, methamphetamine, a used syringe, drug paraphernalia and what appeared to be a notebook ledger were also subsequently located, court records show. Palmateer was originally charged with five offenses and booked at Platte County Jail.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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