Weightlifter pleads guilty, sentenced to prison

Christopher Alexson Pappillion

A Victoria weightlifter was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to 11 felonies, including possessing an anabolic steroid.

Christopher Alexson Pappillion accepted a plea offer Nov. 23. He was scheduled to go to trial Dec. 12.

District Attorney Stephen Tyler said he extended the plea offer because of the age of the case and because some experts were unavailable to testify as to the pharmacological effects of the drugs.

A Victoria district judge initially ruled the drugs the Victoria Police Department obtained during a search of Pappillion's home could not be used at trial because the search was illegal.

An appellate court overturned that ruling, though, and three more cases were filed against Pappillion in 2016.

"This vindicated the actions of the Victoria Police Department when they executed the warrant," Tyler said Monday. "This takes a known drug dealer ... it takes him off the street."

Pappillion will be eligible for parole in about a year, and he plans to continue a career in weightlifting, which he has won numerous awards in already, his attorney, Brent Dornburg, said.

"He's a grown man. I'm not saying he can't take care of himself, but I think because of his fame and notoriety, he seemed to attract people who were not favorable to a pure and clean lifestyle," said Dornburg, who was assisted by Stephen D. Jackson, an attorney based in Conroe.

In the original case filed in 2014, Pappillion, 36, pleaded guilty Nov. 23 to manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, synthetic marijuana, less than 400 grams; possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana; manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, an anabolic steroid, between 28 and 200 grams; and tampering or fabricating physical evidence Jan. 16, 2014.

He received seven years in prison for all those charges except for the possession of marijuana.

For that charge, he received 18 months in state jail.

Three more cases were filed against Pappillion in 2016.

In the first case filed in 2016, he pleaded guilty Nov. 23 to tampering with a witness and obstruction or retaliation Sept. 3, 2015, and received seven years in prison. That witness was to testify in the 2014 case against Pappillion had it gone to trial.

In the second case filed in 2016, he pleaded guilty Nov. 23 to possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, April 19, 2016 and received 18 months in state jail.

In the third case filed in 2016, he pleaded guilty Nov. 23 to manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, an analogue of LSD, between 80 and 4,000 abuse units and three counts of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, synthetic marijuana, between 4 and 400 grams. For all those charges, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Pappillion has 222 days of jail credit. The sentences in all his cases will be served concurrently. He must also pay a $10,000 fine and $900 restitution to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which tested the substances police found in his home.

The charges against Pappillion's roommate, Fidel Salazar Jr., 32, who is also charged with various drug crimes, are pending.

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Former Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest worked for the Victoria Advocate from August 2012-September 2019, first as the courts reporter and then as the environment/investigations reporter. Read her work now at www.jessicapriest.me.

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