LIMA — Two Lima men taken into custody late last year following drug raids executed by the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force and the FBI’s NorthWest Ohio Safe Streets task force entered pleas of not guilty Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court during their arraignment hearings on multiple drug-related charges.
Michael Liles, 43, of Lima, was charged by the January session of the grand jury on first-degree felony charges engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated funding of drug trafficking, trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine.
The charges include a specification labeling Liles as a major drug offender for allegedly offering to sell cocaine in an amount exceeding 100 grams. He was also indicted for having weapons under disability, possession of heroin and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Lashane Liles, 48, of Lima, was indicted on similar counts of aggravated funding of drug trafficking, trafficking in cocaine, two counts of possession of cocaine, possession of a fentanyl-related compound having weapons under disability and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Lashane Liles is also charged as a major drug offender.
The two men, along with Demontay Liles and Marcus Brown, were taken into custody following a series of task force raids on Nov. 8 of last year. Four search warrants were executed in the 500 block of Orena Avenue in Lima and a fifth warrant was served by the task force in the 4700 block of Allentown Road.
The joint effort was part of a long-term and ongoing investigation into fentanyl trafficking in the Lima community, according to a press release issued the following day by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.
During the search, more than one kilogram of suspected fentanyl was seized, along with around $45,000 in U.S. currency, five handguns, one illegal unregistered automatic machine gun and various drug paraphernalia and electronics. Four vehicles were also taken into evidence in the raid.
Assisting in serving the warrants were the Allen County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Auglaize County SWAT team, FBI Cleveland Division SWAT team, Grand Lake Task Force, Lima Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.