MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A federal jury convicted a Ramer man on Wednesday for a 2017 incident which involved a Troy police officer being dragged in a car window.
U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. announced that Willis Lydell Cogburn is facing a minimum of five years in prison with a maximum sentence of life. Cogburn, 31, was convicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
“Guns and drugs are a deadly mix,” said Franklin. “Dealers often carry firearms to protect their drugs and money, placing the public and law enforcement at risk.”
The incident occurred on July 2017 when Troy police approached Cogburn’s car because he was playing his music excessively loud.
When officers reached the vehicle to address the noise issue, they noticed an open container of alcohol and the smell of marijuana.
While officers were questioning Cogburn, he became confrontational and put the vehicle in reverse to try to escape.
According to police, an officer had to jump into the car’s doorjamb and cling to the vehicle to avoid being struck by the open door. The car moved backwards 50 feet before hitting another vehicle and coming to a stop. No one involved in the incident was injured.
“We are fortunate that someone was not seriously injured during this encounter and I am relieved that the Troy police officers were able to prevent the situation from escalating further,” Franklin added.
Officers searched the car after Cogburn was removed and found a significant amount of marijuana, small amounts of cocaine and meth, digital scales and a .38-caliber revolver. A previous felony conviction prohibited Cogburn from possessing a firearm.
“Our officers encountered a dangerous individual that night and the situation escalated very quickly,” said Troy Police Chief Randall Barr. “Thankfully, we were able to get him into custody without serious injury to officers, bystanders or the defendant. I am grateful for the partnerships my department has with the agencies involved in this case and the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
The Troy Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences all assisted in investigating this case.
There is no possibility of parole in the federal system.