A Casper man was sentenced Wednesday to years behind bars for his involvement in a heroin and methamphetamine distribution ring which operated in Natrona County.

District Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced 39-year-old Robert Samuel Lawson to a term of three and a half to six years in prison for his conviction on one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.

Lawson had previously pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. In exchange, Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk agreed to argue for a prison term of no longer than six years.

Charging papers say Lawson sold meth for Christopher Eads, who brought large amounts of heroin into the Casper area as well as small quantities of meth. Eads reportedly carried a handgun on his person at all times.

In June 2017, Eads led law enforcement on a high-speed chase along Interstate 25 which ended in an armed standoff in Casper. Eads was sentenced in March to 40 years behind bars for six different crimes resulting from that incident, including assault on a federal officer.

Court documents say that on June 2 -- the day before the pursuit and standoff involving Eads -- agents of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation interviewed a confidential source who claimed that Lawson was selling heroin and meth which he obtained from Eads.

Before Lawson was arrested in April 2017 in an unrelated case, Lawson would routinely sell methamphetamine which Eads fronted to him. Eads, the source said, wanted Lawson and his then-girlfriend to start traveling to Colorado to pick up the meth and heroin for Eads.

Eads also allegedly used Lawson to recruit people to sell drugs for Eads.

Messages exchanged between Lawson and Eads via Facebook regarding heroin and drug sales are included in court documents.

During Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Schenk told the court that Lawson has a lengthy criminal history which includes domestic battery and several crimes which Lawson committed while on probation for previous crimes. Lawson's first felony, committed in 1997, was armed robbery, according to Schenk.

Schenk also said Lawson has never successfully completed a term of probation.

Public defender Kurt Infanger told the court that Lawson has spent most of his adult life in prison and has had only three jobs since he turned 18.

Lawson, when given an opportunity to speak, read from a written statement and apologized to the court.

"Please don't send me back to prison," Lawson asked.

In his sentencing order, Judge Forgey included a recommendation that Lawson participate in the Department of Corrections' intensive drug treatment program.

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