LIMA — A Lima man who prosecutors say sold cocaine in Lima at a rate large enough to warrant the legal designation as a major drug offender was sentenced Thursday to 24 years in prison.
Shay Williams was also ordered to forfeit nearly $50,000 of alleged drug profits and to make restitution of more than $10,000 to the local crime task force that facilitated his arrest.
Williams, 31, was taken into custody during pre-dawn drug raids on June 14, 2018, as part of an FBI probe into the trafficking of cocaine in Allen County that led to the arrest of more than a dozen Lima men on federal and state charges.
As part of a negotiated deal with prosecutors, Williams on Nov. 14 pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in cocaine.
He was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in July 2018 on the felony drug-related charges. The most serious of those counts were two first-degree felony charges — trafficking in and the possession of bulk amounts of cocaine — that carried the major drug offender specifications, a designation that requires a mandatory 11-year prison sentence to be served consecutively to any other sentences.
Williams also pleaded guilty in November to three counts of trafficking in cocaine and two counts of possession of cocaine, each felonies of the third degree.
The negotiated settlement also called for Williams to forfeit $49,838 to the West Central Ohio Criminal Task Force and to make restitution totaling an additional $11,000 to the task force.
The Allen County Common Pleas courtroom of Judge Jeffrey Reed was packed with Williams’ family members and supporters Thursday. A high level of court security was also on display as emotions ran high.
Supporters urged a lenient sentence for Williams, calling him a first-time offender and a good family man who made poor choices.
Williams’ mother blamed herself and his father for her son’s “rough” home life as a child, “but he has a beautiful heart, and he don’t deserve this. He’s the best dad ever. Yes, he made the wrong choice, but for the court to give him this harsh sentence is bull-(expletive),” she told the judge.
James Hunter, who described himself simply as a “supporter,” said pedophiles who prey on children in the community get lesser sentences than Williams faced.
“Don’t be harsh. C’mon, Reed, show some light, man,” Hunter said.
The judge allowed an exchange of opinions to a point but ultimately adopted the previously agreed-upon sentence of 24 years behind bars for Williams. The mandatory 11-year sentences for the major drug offender specifications were ordered to be served concurrently.
“The drug culture is a cancer on our society,” Reed said, “and it’s mind-boggling how someone can be a good family person and then on the other hand feed the drug culture.
“It’s hard as a judge to understand how young people in this community think it’s a good idea (to sell drugs). I just don’t get it, and it wears on me,” Reed said.