LIMA — The 4.4 pounds of heroin a man brought into this community was the highest amount ever confiscated and could have had a devastating effect on the community, a prosecutor said Monday.
“That is over 20,000 chances for the ultimate users to poison themselves with this dangerous and sometimes deadly drug,” Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Jana Emerick said.
Emerick spoke during the sentencing hearing for 45-year-old Marvin Thomas who was given 23 years in prison. Thomas declined to make a statement.
Thomas pleaded no contest to possession of heroin with a major drug offender and forfeiture of a vehicle specification, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity with a vehicle forfeiture specification, and having a firearm under a court sanction.
He was one of two men arrested in October after officers seized 4.4 pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $300,000. There are 454 grams in a pound and a hit of heroin is one-tenth of a gram, officials said.
Thomas’ co-defendant, Anthony Duvernay, 39, also of Lima, is facing similar charges and his case is pending.
Thomas told investigators he was getting his heroin from people in Arizona and Duvernay helped him. They were in the process of prepping the drugs for sale when agents stopped them, Emerick said.
Thomas also was a marijuana dealer who made about $14,000 a month on top of the thousands he made from the illegal sale of heroin. He bought marijuana off people in Texas who he told authorities all about but Emerick did not name in court, she said.
“He did not seem, at all, to acknowledge or even absorb the fact that this was just a terrible aggravated circumstance of drug trafficking,” Emerick said.
Thomas also has a lengthy record in dealing drugs. He previously served seven years in prison on a drug crime, Emerick said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.