Lima man pleads guilty to drug charges

LIMA — A Lima man will be sentenced April 24 after pleading guilty on Wednesday to felony drug charges.

Divante Hall, 29, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in October 2023 for possession of cocaine and possession of a fentanyl-related compound, each felonies of the second degree, and a third-degree felony count of aggravated possession of drugs.

Specifications attached to the charges call for the forfeiture of $211 in U.S. currency that was linked to the sale of drugs.

A jury trial scheduled for March 11 was averted Wednesday when Hall entered into an agreement with prosecutors, who agreed to dismiss the fentanyl possession charge as well as a parole violation from a previous case in exchange for guilty pleas to the remaining two charges and specifications contained in the indictment.

Hall faces a mandatory prison term of between two and eight years when he is sentenced. Mandatory fines of between $7,500 and $10,000 could be waived if Hall is found to be indigent.

According to court records, on Aug. 31 of last year the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, aided by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, served a drug-related search warrant at Hall’s residence at 25 Superior Court in Lima.

Items recovered during the search included digital scales covered in suspected drug residue, drug paraphernalia and clear plastic bags containing approximately 26 grams of suspected cocaine.

Hall’s attorney, Scott Kelly, in December filed a motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of that search warrant, calling the search unconstitutional and a violation of Hall’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Kelly said facts contained in the affidavit in support of the search are insufficient to support the state’s allegation of probable cause. The attorney dismissed the motion Wednesday when a plea deal was reached.