Lima man sentenced as major drug offender

LIMA — A Lima man found to be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine after he led police on a high-speed chase last August was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 14 1/2 years in prison.

Cory Wright, 40, was sentenced as a major drug offender after he was found with more than 3,000 grams of suspected cocaine following a police chase that reportedly reached speeds in excess of 110 mph. That chase culminated in a multi-vehicle collision in Lima that left two women injured.

Allen County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines said the amount of drugs located was 30 times the threshold necessary for a major drug offender designation.

Wright was indicted by a grand jury in October on charges that include the possession of cocaine, a first-degree felony with an MDO specification. Other charges included the failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, vehicular assault, tampering with evidence and having weapons under disability.

Last month, Wright entered into an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, with the major drug offender specification attached, as well as the weapon and failure to comply counts. The remaining charges were dismissed by the state.

Wright apologized to “the court, the community and to the victims” prior to sentencing on Thursday.

“I feel terrible about what I have done. All I can say is ‘sorry’ and that I will try to better myself,” he said.

In addition to his prison term, Wright was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,400 to a woman who suffered a broken leg when her vehicle was struck as Wright fled from police. Restitution totaling $752 was ordered to another woman also involved in the crash.

Wright was further ordered to forfeit more than $58,000 in alleged drug proceeds and two firearms to the state.

Wright was arrested Aug. 30 as part of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Northwest Ohio Safe Streets Task Force. Investigators were monitoring the movement of Wright’s vehicle via a court-approved GPS device and observed that Wright had traveled to Fort Wayne and stopped at an apartment complex there for about five minutes before returning to Ohio, according to court documents.

Law enforcement units stationed along U.S. 30 observed Wright make two traffic violations and attempted to initiate a traffic stop near Delphos. Wright continued to flee at a high rate of speed down state Route 309. Wright’s vehicle was involved in a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Elida Road and North Cole Street in Lima. Witnesses told police Wright fled the scene of the accident on foot carrying unknown items.

He was arrested in a nearby parking lot. Police searched the area and found a cardboard box containing a large amount of suspected cocaine.