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Normal man sentenced to 5 years on weapons charge

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BLOOMINGTON — A man from Normal was sentenced to five years in prison on a weapons charge after a gun was found on him during a traffic stop in 2020. 

Robert Pfeifer

Pfeifer

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McLean County Judge William Yoder sentenced Robert A. Pfeifer, 33, to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, with credit for two days served. Pfeifer will also have to pay a $75 fine, along with court fees, and complete a year of mandatory supervised release. 

He had pleaded guilty in May. 

Pfeifer was arrested in July 2020 following a traffic stop where police found a loaded handgun in his pocket. A burglary charge from 2008 prevented Pfeifer from legally owning a firearm in the state. 

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Pfeifer's mother, Kim Pfeifer, spoke on behalf of his defense at the sentencing on Friday. She testified that her son had graduated with honors from Lincoln College, had taken some graduate courses at Illinois State University and is a constant help to her. 

Robert Pfeifer had studied criminal justice, assistant state's attorney Aaron Fredrick said.

Pfeifer admitted in his statement to the court that he knew he could not possess the gun but felt he needed it for protection. He apologized for having caused a disruption in the community. 

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In his ruling, Yoder acknowledged that it was a difficult case to decide a sentence for, as he rarely dealt with people who had such a strong educational background, work history and family support. Yet he also called it a "very dangerous situation" for both the officers on scene and Pfeifer, and noted the defendant's prior record.

"This case is a very difficult one for the court because this is a defendant who does appear to have a bright future in front of him," Yoder said. 

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