LIMA — A young Lima man faces mandatory prison time when he is sentenced March 1 after pleading guilty to seven drug-related charges Thursday.
Dontez Laws, 25, appeared before Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed for a change-of-plea hearing. He entered pleas of guilty to a pair of felony charges, each of which included specifications for the use of a firearm during the commission of the crimes and the forfeiture of $16,700 be paid to the West Central Ohio Task Force. Those two counts alone, coupled with the accompanying specifications, will result in a mandatory minimum of five years behind bars.
Laws pleaded guilty to an amended count of possession of a fentanyl-related compound and a single count of possession of heroin, each felonies of the first degree. He also pleaded guilty to four counts for trafficking in heroin and fentanyl, fourth-degree felonies, and a fifth-degree felony charge of aggravated possession of drugs (oxycodone).
The seven charges could land Laws in prison for more than three decades, the judge explained prior to accepting the pleas.
As part of a negotiated plea agreement, prosecutors amended the fentanyl possession count to a lesser charge that removed a mandatory maximum prison sentence. The possession of the fentanyl and heroin, however, were said to be in the vicinity of a school property.
Reed said some of the charges against Laws could merge for sentencing purposes and ordered defense attorney Dustin Blake to submit his sentencing arguments two weeks prior to March 1. The state will then have one week to respond.