A Springfield man who pleaded guilty recently in two drug-related cases was sent to prison for four years and 11 months.
Paul B. Gatewood, 51, was arrested Jan. 4 after Washington C.H. Police Department officers were dispatched to 411 Eastern Ave. on a report of a man, later identified as Gatewood, refusing to let a female out of a vehicle that both were inside. The caller also advised that the male had a firearm. When they arrived, officers found a woman in the front seat and a man in the back seat.
Both were ordered to show their hands, reports said, the woman immediately complied and Gatewood did a few seconds later. Officers then ordered Gatewood to get out of the passenger side of the vehicle, which he did. He was immediately handcuffed and patted down for weapons.
When officers asked Gatewood what his name was, he refused to answer, according to reports. A piece of aluminum foil was located in the top of his front pants pocket, and it was later found to contain cocaine.
Officers spoke with the woman, who advised that she and Gatewood had been in an argument over $100 that Gatewood claimed he spent at Walmart, but she said he didn’t. While parked in the back yard of the residence, Gatewood allegedly demanded that the woman take him to Walmart, but she refused. Gatewood then reportedly blocked the woman into her vehicle by standing at the door, and refused to let her out.
The alleged victim said that she lit a cigarette, and as soon as it was lit, Gatewood grabbed the cigarette from her and struck her in the face with his hand. She said she was held by Gatewood for more than two hours, and was finally able to make contact with her brother, who called for police assistance.
While seated in the cruiser, Gatewood was again asked his name, but he refused to answer, police said. Officers then told him to open his mouth, believing he was possibly concealing drugs. He also refused to show officers the inside of his mouth, reports said.
Later at the Fayette County Jail, police found baggies concealed in Gatewood’s mouth, which also tested positive for cocaine.
On May 13 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court, Gatewood pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony, related to the first criminal case. Counts of abduction and obstructing official business were dismissed by the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office.
Gatewood was sentenced to 11 months in prison on the charge.
Because more drugs were found in Gatewood’s mouth at the Fayette County Jail following his arrest, Gatewood pleaded guilty to illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility or institution, a third-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
On these charges, Gatewood was sentenced to 24 months on each count. Both cases are to be served consecutively with each other for a total prison term of 59 months.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica