Jury hears opening statements in multicount drug case

Allison Dunn, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
·2 min read

May 5—A Lucas County jury heard opening statements on Tuesday in the trial for a West Toledo man facing several accusations of selling heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana.

Laron Gregory, 41, of the 1800 block of Perth Street, is charged in three separate cases with trafficking and possession of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana, as well as three counts of aggravated trafficking and aggravated possession of drugs and one count of having weapons under disability.

Detectives allegedly caught Gregory with drugs in his possession and other items like scales, baggies, and gloves that investigators say indicate drug trafficking. At the time of the alleged offenses, Gregory was on probation for procurement of a prostitute for another and receiving stolen property.

Prosecutors say detectives approached Gregory's vehicle on Oct. 8, 2018 in the Kroger supermarket parking lot at 833 W. Alexis Rd. after witnessing what they believed to be a drug transaction. As officers approached the vehicle, Gregory was found with drug residue on his hands, specifically a white powder.

Police searched the vehicle, finding heroin, crack, and powder cocaine, prosecutors said.

They later searched a hotel room where Gregory was staying, finding an excessive amount of marijuana, along with scales, a blender, a mixing bowl, and baggies, according to prosecutors. A subsequent search of a storage unit belonging to Gregory then turned up more marijuana, supplies, and a pistol.

After a Nov. 28, 2019 traffic stop, Gregory consented to a police search and officers found a bag of crack cocaine, a digital scale, two cellular telephones, and thousands of dollars in cash.

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About a week later, Gregory was a passenger in his own vehicle during another traffic stop, by which time Gregory had warrants for his arrest. A search then found Gregory to possess oxycodone pills, a scale, and more than $900.

Prosecutors told the jury Tuesday they consider the case to be straightforward, but defense lawyer Merle Dech said prosecutors will be unable to prove each and every element of the charges.

If convicted on all charges, Gregory could face upward of 47 1/2 years in prison.

First Published May 4, 2021, 12:06pm