LIMA — Prosecutors have given a Lima man facing more than 60 years in prison on a variety of drug and weapons-related charges until the close of business on Thursday to accept a deal that would cut in half the maximum amount of time he could spend behind bars.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Miller put an offer on the table Tuesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court that would cap the maximum prison time for Raymond White — indicted as a “major drug offender” — at 27 and one-half years and could result in a sentence of as few as 12 years behind bars. The actual sentence, should White accept the plea, rests in the hand of Judge David Cheney.
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 the major drug offender (MDO) designation, and one count of possession of cocaine with the MDO specification, along with additional specifications for the use of a firearm and the forfeiture of guns and money in a drug case;
Other indictments returned by the grand jury against White included two fourth-degree felony counts 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.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Miller presented the state’s one-time offer that calls for White to plead guilty to four counts of the indictment — two first-degree felonies for trafficking and possession of cocaine and lesser felony counts of having a weapon under disability and possession of cocaine. In exchange for that plea, the state would dismiss the three remaining counts.
“Generally speaking, that would limit the sentencing range for the defendant to between 12 and 27 and one-half years,” said Miller. “The state will leave the offer open until the close of business Thursday and that’s it. If the defendant rejects this deal there won’t be a similar offer.”
According to Lima police reports, on March 6 of this year officers spoke with a confidential informant who said most crack cocaine in the city was being supplied by “Shorty,” an “older black male … who drove a white Buick.” Police immediately recognized the individual as White, according to court documents.
The informant allegedly made a call to White, which was recorded by police, and ordered six bags of crack cocaine, 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 and, even though a K-9 dog “alerted” on White’s vehicle, no illicit drugs were found in the vehicle. White was 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.
White’s next court appearance will be Sept. 11 for a continuation of a hearing on motions to suppress evidence filed by his attorney, Kenneth Rexford.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.