Shawnee Township man gets up to 12 years in prison on drug charges

LIMA — A Shawnee Township man will spend at least the next five behind bars after being sentenced on drug-related charges Monday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court.

Michael Miller’s sentencing in Judge Jeffrey Reed’s courtroom came after accepting a plea deal in March in which he pled guilty to four charges: a second-degree felony charge of possession of marijuana, two charges of possession of hashish, one a second-degree charge and the other a third-degree charge, and a third-degree charge of tampering with evidence.

Miller, 22, had also been charged with two additional second-degree charges, one of illegal manufacture of drugs and the other of trafficking in hashish, but those two charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Miller declined to make a statement before hearing that his sentence included a minimum of five years in prison on the marijuana possession charge that could go up to 7 1/2 years and non-mandatory sentences of 24 months on each of the hashish possession charges and 12 months on the tampering charge, which could extend Miller’s imprisonment to a maximum of 12 1/2 years. Reed waived a total of $17,500 in fines requested by prosecutors, but Miller will forfeit four firearms and $18,230 in cash confiscated during the investigation.

“My client was bonded out of jail and … he had obtained counsel,” Miller’s attorney Karl Kordalis said when addressing his request to waive the fines. “My client did indicate that he has relied heavily on family for financial support, and that’s how both of those items were accomplished. My client, if the court does impose this sentence, will be 32 years old when he is released from prison. He will be a felon with high-level felony convictions at that point, and I would argue that his employment prospects at that time would be bleak, and paying the mandatory fines in the potential thousands would be nearly impossible.”

Miller’s arrest came after an investigation spurred by the death of Zachary Kohli in May 2023, a death that was later ruled a suicide. When police responded to Kohli’s death, officers discovered drug-related evidence leading to the investigation into Miller and his subsequent arrest.