Colebank Jr. pleads guilty in meth trafficking case

A 30-year-old Dresden man faces two years in prison after admitting to selling just more than 8 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in January.

The state and defense agreed to the recommended sentence after Larry W. Colebank Jr. waived his right to have the case presented to a grand jury. Instead, he opted to plead guilty to a bill of information containing a single charge from the Muskingum County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutors said Colebank sold 8.2 grams of meth to a confidential informant working with the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force in January.

He appeared Monday afternoon in common pleas court to enter the guilty plea to one count of trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony. The count contains a specification asking that Colebank forfeit a Jeep Cherokee to the state that he was recorded driving during the transaction. A juvenile specification also is attached to the charge, referring to Colebank's son who was with him during the crime, Assistant County Prosecutor Ron Welch said during the plea hearing.

Judge Kelly Cottrill set Colebank's bond at the county jail at $100,000 and ordered a presentence investigation.

The charge is identical to that contained in a complaint that Prosecutor Mike Haddox's office filed against Colebank earlier this month, when he was arrested along with his father, Larry W. Colebank Sr. Authorities have implicated the father and son in a large meth trafficking operation spanning Muskingum, Licking and Perry counties, Sheriff Matt Lutz has said.

The elder Colebank is being detained at the county jail on a complaint filed by the prosecutor's office containing two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, a second-degree felony; trafficking in methamphetamine, a third-degree felony; trafficking in methamphetamine, a first-degree felony; possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony; and three third-degree felonious weapons charges.

The 56-year-old is not permitted to own firearms because of a 2002 drug conviction on his record. He served an eight-year prison sentence in that case.

Many of the elder Colebank's charges include firearm specifications, and two have specifications indicating the alleged offense was committed near a juvenile. The specifications would add prison time onto any potential sentence, the maximum of which is 44 years.

Additionally, many charges include forfeiture specifications, which refers to guns, cash and a car the elder Colebank owned that was linked to the alleged drug operation. The state is asking that he turn over $442, a .25-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber rifle, a .22-caliber revolver and the same 1998 Jeep Cherokee.

The arrests were the result of a monthlong investigation by the Zanesville Police Department, the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office and CODE.

Agents raided the home at 3215 Fifth St. in Trinway earlier this month after investigating the elder Colebank's alleged drug trafficking activities, Welch said Monday.

As a result of the investigation, agents reported they seized about 100 grams of meth valued at $50,000, $21,000 in cash, three guns and two vehicles, Lutz said at a press briefing on Feb. 5.

*click back button to return to news post list