Alleged fictitious tags lead to passenger’s arrest on drug charges

Robert Bradley Pilcher (Submitted photo)
Robert Bradley Pilcher (Submitted photo)

A traffic stop on a vehicle that reportedly had fictitious tags resulted in the arrest of a passenger on felony and misdemeanor drug charges Saturday afternoon.

Robert Bradley Pilcher, 47, who lists a Hidden Valley Road address, was taken into custody shortly before 3:30 p.m. and charged with felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, meth, and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, Xanax, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Pilcher appeared Monday afternoon via video in Garland County District Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges with a felony review hearing set for April 5. He remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of a $7,000 bond.

According to court records, Pilcher pleaded guilty on April 4, 2016, to failure to comply with sex offender registration and reporting requirements, possession of meth with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to six years on each count to run concurrently with each other and the revocation of his parole from a Jan. 26, 2010, conviction for sexual indecency with a child.

According to the probable cause affidavit on Saturday's arrest, at approximately 3:24 p.m., Hot Springs police Officer Austin Morphew saw a silver 2003 Mercedes in the 600 block of East Grand Avenue and a computer check reportedly showed the license plate was fictitious, so he made a traffic stop at East Grand and Vine Street.

He made contact with the male driver and a passenger, identified as Pilcher, and the driver reportedly gave consent to search the vehicle. Looking under the passenger seat, Morphew allegedly found a glass pipe with residue and a plastic baggie with 0.8 grams of what later tested positive for meth and nine green pills later identified as alprazolam, or Xanax, a schedule 4 controlled substance.

Pilcher was taken into custody and read his rights, but initially wouldn't state anything. Morphew noted the items found were under the passenger seat and "not in reach of the driver," and when questioned the driver said he didn't have any knowledge of the drugs found.

Once at the jail, Pilcher reportedly admitted the pipe and "the dope" were his and noted he "has an addiction," but claimed no knowledge of the pills that were located.

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