Major drug offender sentenced in Allen County

LIMA — A Lima man charged as a major drug offender after large quantities of narcotics were discovered during a task force search on his property earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 14 years in prison.

Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser sentenced Darius Bailey to a mandatory 11-year prison term on a first-degree felony count of possession of cocaine. An attached MDO specification required the mandatory maximum sentence be imposed. The charge also included specifications for the forfeiture of $8,541 in alleged drug profits and a Glock 23 .40 caliber handgun.

Bailey, 26, was handed an additional 36 months behind bars on a charge of having weapons under disability. An additional count of the possession of cocaine, to which Bailey pleaded guilty in September, was merged with another possession count for purposes of sentencing.

Bailey’s residence on Sherman Avenue was searched in March by officers with the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, who discovered suspected drugs along with cash and the firearm. Bailey was present at the time of the search, along with his 3-year-old son.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines said task force members located 140 grams of cocaine in a kitchen cabinet during the raid. Another 475 grams of coke were found in a vehicle on the property.

Bailey apologized to his family, many of whom were in the courtroom, and to Judge Kohlrieser prior to sentencing.

“Do I regret what I’ve done? Yes,” Bailey said. “I’m not proud of what I’ve done; all I can do is accept it. While I’m incarcerated, I want to find myself to become a better person.”

Kohlrieser was especially dismayed at the circumstances surrounding Bailey’s arrest in light of progress she said he had made in the recovery court program under her watch following a previous drug trafficking conviction.

“Four hundred seventy-five grams of cocaine!” the judge said of the large amount of drugs found in Bailey’s vehicle. “Jeez-o-mighty! That’s a major drug offender all right! It makes me wonder if the recovery court is just an incredible waste of resources.”