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A figure in a northern Utah cocaine ring has been sentenced to one to 15 years in prison.

Brian Wilson of Millville had pleaded guilty in March to two counts of distributing cocaine, a second-degree felony, and one count of possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony.During a hearing Monday, 1st District Judge Gordon Low rejected defense attorney John Caine's plea for leniency. Caine argued that other than previous drunken driving charges, the drug counts were his client's first offenses.

If Wilson weren't sent to prison, "This court would be remiss in its duties," Low said.

Wilson received concurrent terms of one to 15 years on the cocaine distribution charges and not more than five years on the possession count.

Police say Wilson and four other men arrested in April 1995 were involved in a major local drug ring that monthly dealt about 4 pounds of cocaine, worth $200,000.

But Caine denied his client's involvement in narcotics trafficking was as extensive as police say. He denied allegations Wilson was the "architect" of the drug ring and added that Wilson was just doing the bidding of co-defendant Robert Pyke.

"He has not attempted to whitewash his involvement, but his involvement has been limited," Caine said.

Low disagreed.

"By any definition, the defendant was involved in extensive (drug) trafficking in this community . . . motivated 100 percent by profit."

Cache County Attorney Scott Wyatt told the court Monday wiretaps of Wilson's phone revealed only 3 percent of his calls were related to his construction business.

"His construction business was only a front," Wyatt said. "This (drug-dealing) was a major business operation."