LIMA — A Kenton woman who police say traveled from Lima to Detroit and back earlier this year and was subsequently found with more than 50 grams of fentanyl hidden inside her body when stopped by police waived her constitutional right to a speedy trial Tuesday.
Erika Parkins, 31, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury earlier this month on a first-degree felony charge of possession of a fentanyl-related compound. She was also charged with a fifth-degree felony count of possession of heroin.
Parkins appeared briefly before Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed on Tuesday morning to waive her right to a speedy trial. Reed set a tentative new trial date for Parkins of Aug. 20. The Kenton woman is being held on $500,000 bond.
According to court documents, the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force in January applied for and was granted a search warrant to electronically monitor the movements of a 2007 Dodge Durango. On Jan. 11 the vehicle was observed, electronically, to be traveling north on Interstate 75. The Durango made its way to a residential area of Detroit, was stationary for 45 minutes and then began its return south.
As the vehicle entered Allen County, the Ohio State Highway Patrol was contacted to initiate a traffic stop. The trooper observed “several criminal indicators,” and a K-9 officer was requested, court documents show. At that time, the driver of the vehicle, Michael Malone, told the officer that he had marijuana on his person.
In his narrative, Allen County Sheriff’s Office Detective Michael Haines wrote that through his training, he learned that “larger scale drug traffickers will bring marijuana with them when transporting other types of narcotics as a way to throw off law enforcement detection of other narcotics concealed on their person or in the vehicle.”
Haines also noted that several sources had told police the owner of the vehicle, a Justin Williams, often would “use females to smuggle his narcotics into the Lima community.”
During a subsequent search of Parkins at the Allen County jail, the woman admitted she had drugs concealed in her vagina. She said Williams had agreed to pay her $200 for her trip to Detroit and back.
The drugs which Parkins had hidden in her body proved to be approximately 77 grams of fentanyl, documents show.
Williams, 28, of Lima, has also been charged with possession of a fentanyl-related compound and trafficking in heroin.
No charges have been filed yet in Allen County Common Pleas Court against Malone, who has three prior convictions for drug-related offenses.