Hayes pleads guilty to drug possession charges

Apr. 29—LIMA — Joshua Hayes, a one-time chiropractor in Shawnee Township and a long-time proponent of the virtues of holistic medicine and medical marijuana, pleaded no contest Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to six felony drug charges.

Hayes, who was a candidate for mayor of the city of Lima in 2021, will be sentenced June 11. He faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 18 years but could be sentenced to a term of community control.

That decision lies with Judge Terri Kohlrieser, who ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared prior to sentencing.

Hayes, who turns 40 later this week, was indicted by a grand jury in October 2023 on two counts each of possession of hashish, aggravated possession of drugs and possession of marijuana. All are third-degree felony charges, and five of the six charges carry with them the legal presumption that a prison sentence will be ordered.

The indictment alleges that Hayes possessed hashish in a liquid and solid form in an amount that exceeds the bulk amount. He is also alleged to have possessed psilocybin, a Schedule I drug, and marijuana in excess of the bulk amount.

During an April hearing, Hayes admitted that marijuana found inside a Breese Road residence in June 2022 belonged to him. He declined to say the same about psilocybin mushrooms also discovered in the home.

During that same hearing, prosecutors put a proposed plea deal on the record that called for Hayes to plead guilty to three felony counts in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts. He declined that offer.

At the heart of the case against Hayes was the discovery of contraband substances at a Breese Road residence he owned. On June 14, 2022, Shawnee Township police were called when the drugs were found inside the home which at the time was occupied by Angela Hayes, the ex-wife of Josh Hayes.

Hayes was arrested in Minnesota in 2017 on a felony charge of possession of marijuana. In 2021 the Ohio State Chiropractic Board suspended his license for one year and fined him $5,000 on nine counts, six of which were related to treatment of patients.

Hayes finished third in a four-candidate special run-off election for the mayoral seat in Lima in May of 2021.