Colebank Sr. gets 8 years in meth trafficking case

A Trinway man was sentenced to eight years in prison after admitting to selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant four times this year before agents raided his home last month.

Agents reported seizing 100 grams of meth valued at $50,000, $21,000 in cash, three guns and two vehicles after raiding Larry Colebank Sr.’s home at 3215 Fifth St. in Trinway early in February, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz has said.

Colebank’s son also was implicated in the meth trafficking operation, which spanned Muskingum, Perry and Licking counties, Lutz has said. Larry Colebank Jr. has been arrested in the case and awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to a single charge Feb. 22.

The elder Colebank pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information Wednesday, waiving his right to have the case presented to a grand jury for possible criminal indictment. After pleading to eight drug and weapon charges, he also waived his right to a presentence investigation, opting to receive his punishment the same day.

At the recommendation of the state, Judge Kelly Cottrill imposed a five-year term on one count of trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony, and three consecutive years on an illegal gun possession charge, a third-degree felony.

Cottrill ordered that the sentences on the remaining six charges run concurrent, for a total of eight years.

The remaining charges include another count 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 two other 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.

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 a 1998 Jeep Cherokee.

The elder Colebank admitted to selling meth to a confidential informant four times between January and February. The largest amount the undercover buyer purchased at one time from him was 83 grams, according to Assistant County Prosecutor Ron Welch.

Speaking before the court, the elder Colebank indicated the meth was from Mexico.

Both Colebanks were arrested after the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office, Zanesville Police Department and Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force investigated their operation.

"The CODE Task Force has been doing an excellent job along with the (Ohio State) Highway Patrol in making significant strides in eliminating drugs and drug dealers from our streets," Welch told the Times Recorder.

The younger Colebank, 30, has pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony contained in a  bill of information. He awaits a sentencing hearing after prosecutors recommended he serve two years for selling 8.2 grams of meth to a confidential informant in January with his son present.

He also will be required to forfeit the same Jeep Cherokee to the state that he was recorded driving during the transaction.

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