LIMA — A Lima man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for possession of heroin, cocaine and a fentanyl-related compound.
Eric Banks, 28, drew the five-year sentence from Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser on the fentanyl charge, a felony of the first degree. Banks was sentenced to 24 months in prison on both of the remaining counts, each third-degree felonies. Those sentenced were ordered by the judge to be served concurrently with the most serious count.
Banks was taken into custody on Dec. 3 of last year on the drug-related charges following a SWAT team raid at 829 Michael Ave., Lima. During the execution of a search warrant the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, with the assistance of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, found drug paraphernalia, approximately 30 grams of suspected fentanyl/heroin and approximately 20 grams of suspected cocaine.
Banks was located inside the residence and gave police multiple versions of whether or not he lived there, according to court documents.
During a search of the premises approximately 21 grams of crack cocaine was located in a freezer inside the home. Court records show Banks admitted the drugs belonged to him and said he had stolen the goods from a car which he found unlocked and parked on Third Street.
The judge on Wednesday, however, said she “wasn’t quite buying” that version of events. Kohlrieser said she found it “extremely coincidental” that Banks found the drugs in an unlocked vehicle, especially after drug unit officers with the Lima Police Department had executed a controlled undercover purchase of illicit drugs at the Michael Avenue address not long before the SWAT team raid.
Banks apologized to the Lima community and said his involvement with drugs was “the worst decision I ever made and it is costing me dearly.”