LIMA — A 60-year-old Lima man was sentenced Wednesday to 180 days in jail and three years on probation for the illegal handling of scrap tires.
Randy Maze, who faces the prospect of four years in prison if he violates the terms of that stint on probation, is the fifth person in a little over a year to be charged and convicted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for illegally dumping and/or transporting scrap tires in Lima.
Maze pleaded guilty last month to two felony charges after being indicted in July for the illegal transportation of scrap tires without a registration certificate, unclassified felonies, and one count of the illegal open dumping of scrap tires. Through a plea deal offered by the attorney general’s office, the open dumping charge was dismissed in exchange for Maze’s guilty pleas to the remaining two counts.
Kenneth Egbert, assistant Ohio Attorney General for the state’s environmental enforcement section, alleged that Maze, doing business as R&M Tire, transported more than 20 scrap tires from a building at 325 S. Main St., Lima, without obtaining a registration certificate from the director of environmental protection.
Egbert said in court Wednesday that the unlicensed Main Street facility was a storage site for more than 3,7oo scrap tires, the whereabouts of some of which still remains unknown. Egbert, citing the defendant’s “significant prior criminal record related to tire-handling” and related charges of passing bad checks, asked Judge Terri Kohlrieser to impose a three-year prison sentence in the case.
Maze, who according to his court-appointed attorney has a fifth-grade education, told the judge that financial difficulties led him to skirt the law.
“I know I done wrong, and I’m gonna make it right,” he told the court. “I’m paying off my debts, and I’m not going to get in trouble no more.”
Kohlrieser also ordered Maze to obtain a G.E.D. while in jail.
Maze currently faces charges in Van Wert County for passing bad checks and has had similar charges in the past in Auglaize and Shelby counties.