A Jackson County man could spend as much as eight years in prison for a recent drug conviction in Jackson Circuit Court.

John Thomas Wiltermood, 22, of Seymour received that sentence from Judge Richard W. Poynter, who accepted his guilty plea on a conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony.

Poynter sentenced Wiltermood to 18 years in jail but suspended 10 years of the sentence. Wiltermood also must spend five years on probation and pay a $500 public defender fee and a $300 drug interdiction fee.

Wiltermood’s arrest and conviction stem from a traffic stop in January on Interstate 65 that led to the discovery of more than 40 grams of crystal methamphetamine. Also arrested were Carl Eugene Rice, 55, of Indianapolis and Kristin K. Campbell, 35, of Seymour.

It began when Indiana State Trooper Randel Miller stopped a car Rice was driving south, a mile north of Seymour. While talking with Rice, Miller said he became suspicious of potential criminal activity when a police dog, Jinx, alerted him to the odor of a drug coming from the 2002 Chevrolet Impala, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.

A search of that vehicle led to the discovery of the methamphetamine and Rice’s arrest on a possession of methamphetamine charge, said Wheeles, the post’s public information officer.

Information obtained during the stop also led to officers obtaining a search warrant for an apartment at Jackson Park Place Apartments in Seymour. That’s where Campbell and Wiltermood were arrested on numerous drug-related charges.

The pair were arrested after the search of the apartment uncovered items related to the possession and dealing of illegal drugs, police said.

As part of the plea deal, the state agreed to dismiss a second charge of possession of methamphetamine against Wiltermood.

Campbell, who entered a guilty plea on a charge of conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine on Nov. 4, has a sentencing hearing set for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15 in Jackson Circuit Court.

Rice, who faces charges of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine, is scheduled to stand trial at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28.

Miller was assisted by state troopers and officers with Seymour Police Department.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.