Lima man sentenced on coke, meth charges

Apr. 24—LIMA — With the birth of his third child just weeks away, a tearful Divante Hall on Wednesday asked for a delay in the implementation of his prison sentence on drug charges so he could witness the event.

Hall apologized to the court and his family and asked Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Judge Terri Kohlrieser to allow him to be placed on an ankle monitoring device "for a couple of weeks" until the birth takes place.

"Please give me a chance," Hall said. "I want to see my son be born. I've made some mistakes in the past, but that's not me. Please consider my kids."

Kohlrieser had some choice words for Hall, but not ones he wanted to hear.

"If you had thought for one second about being taken away from your kids when you were committing these offenses, we wouldn't be here today," the judge said. "You made the decision to have felony limits of cocaine and meth in your possession, and it's audacious for you to ask ME to think you about your children. This falls at your feet and yours alone."

Citing Hall's lengthy history of criminal convictions, and the fact that his most recent offenses occurred when he was under community control sanctions, Kohlrieser said to the defendant, "Stop telling me this is not who you are. Actions speak louder than words."

The judge then handed Hall a minimum prison sentence of 5 1/2 years, adding that a judicial release would be considered after he served the mandatory portion of the sentence.

Hall, 29, of Lima, was indicted in October 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.

As part of a negotiated plea deal with prosecutors in February, he pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine and the aggravated possession charge. Prosecutors dismissed the count involving a fentanyl-related compound.

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, 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.

Allen County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines on Wednesday said that, based on evidence gathered in multiple controlled drug buys, the state believes that Hall was "possessing the controlled substances to sell them."