CLINTON — A Clinton man on Thursday claimed to have little to no memory of an arrest that resulted in his guilty plea in Clinton County District Court.
Dillon J. Schnitzler appeared in Iowa’s Seventh District Court on Thursday to enter a guilty plea for the charge of intent to deliver methamphetamine, a class C felony. Sentencing is set for Feb. 8. Schnitzler was arrested on Dec. 7, 2016, after a traffic stop resulted in the discovery of drug paraphernalia inside his vehicle.
Defense Attorney Les Blair told the judge that a contributing factor in his client’s decision to plead guilty was an accident that occurred while the case was pending.
“At the time when this matter was pending, [Schnitzler] was involved in an accident in which his ATV collided with another vehicle,” Blair said.
He added that Schnitzler had been found competent to stand trial, but has short and long term memory problems as a result of the injuries he sustained from the accident.
Schnitzler told Clinton County District Court Judge Mark Lawson that he has little to no memory of the arrest in December 2016 or the events surrounding it.
According to the court affidavit, while monitoring traffic, a police officer noticed a vehicle without a front license plate traveling north on South 14th Street. The officer conducted a traffic stop in the 1000 block of South 14th Street and identified the driver as Schnitzler.
The affidavit states that Schnitzler told the officer he was not valid to drive and did not have the vehicle insurance card. A records check through dispatch confirmed Schnitzler was not valid to drive in Iowa. Schnitzler was issued a citation for no drivers license and no insurance.
According to the affidavit, as Schnitzler’s vehicle was about to be towed away for not being insured, he allegedly asked the officer if he could remove some bags from the vehicle. As Schnitzler walked away with his items, the officer began doing an inventory of the vehicle, and discovered that the center console was broken and pulled apart. As the officer looked under the console, he observed a firearm and multiple baggies of a crystal-like substance associated with methamphetamine.
The affidavit states while searching Schnitzler, the officer located a small baggie of a green leafy substance associated to be marijuana. Fourteen individually packed baggies of a crystal-like substance associated with methamphetamine were inside the vehicle. A loaded handgun was next to the suspected methamphetamine.