LIMA – A Lima man facing the possibility of decades in prison on an assortment of drug-related charges — including the legal designation as a “major drug offender” — was freed on bond Wednesday.
Raymond White’s release from jail was gained after Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cheney agreed to reduce his bond to $250,000 and a bail bondsman testified that mortgages for eight or more properties, half in Lima and the remainder in Toledo, have been signed as collateral by White’s family to cover a lower bond amount.
White, 46, was indicted in April by an Allen County grand jury on one first-degree felony count of trafficking in cocaine, a charge that includes a specification labeling White a major drug offender. Other indictments returned by the grand jury include two first-degree felony counts of possession of cocaine, each with specifications for the forfeiture of weapons and cash in a drug case; a fourth-degree felony charge of possession of cocaine; two counts of having a weapon while under disability, third-degree felonies with firearm specifications; and one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
White’s bond had been set during an earlier hearing at $400,000.
During Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorney Kenneth Rexford asked Cheney to approve a reduction in White’s bond based on the bonding agency’s ability to raise the necessary collateral. Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller called Nowlhas Caseres, an agent for Smith Bonds and Surety, to the witness stand to discuss the arrangements that had were in place.
Caseres said seven individuals had co-signed agreements that would turn over mortgages to four Toledo properties to the bonding company as collateral, and that paperwork gaining liens on another five properties in Lima was obtained Tuesday.
Cheney, citing the defendant’s constitutional right to a “reasonable” bond amount, agreed to the lower amount. He ordered a 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew for White, who earlier had told the judge he would reside at a Lester Avenue residence if freed from jail, and also ordered he be equipped with an ankle monitoring device.
On March 6 of this year police spoke with an informant who said most crack cocaine in the city was being supplied by “Shorty, an older black male … who drove a white Buick.” Police recognized the individual as Raymond White, according to court documents.
The informant allegedly made a call to White, which was recorded by police, and ordered six bags of crack, each weighing six grams. A short while later, a white Buick reportedly left White’s home, which was under police surveillance. An Allen County sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop, but no illicit drugs were found in the vehicle. White was then taken to jail and booked on suspicion of possession of cocaine. A brief time later, a search of the sheriff’s cruiser used to transport White revealed a paper bag with suspected crack cocaine had been left on the floor of the cruiser. The car video showed White taking a bag from his groin area and dropping it to the floor, court records show.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.