A man admitted Tuesday that he used an exotic fish business in Middletown as a front for a drug-dealing operation.

The business, which has since closed, was called Fish Crazy & Exotics. Timothy Ray Adkins said at a hearing in federal court in Cincinnati that he directed the delivery of narcotics from his supply source in Chicago to the business, which was located on Central Avenue and also had a website as well as Facebook and Instagram pages.

In total, court documents say Adkins possessed nearly 4.5 kilos of methamphetamine, 28 grams of a heroin-fentanyl mixture and 3 kilos of marijuana.

Adkins pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple drug and gun charges. Prosecutors said the 35-year-old Middletown resident stored guns and ammunition in his home, including a Remington 9mm pistol with a laser light mounted to it.

He faces 10 years to life in prison. A sentencing date was not set. 

Prosecutors also said in court that Adkins used a cellphone to record video showing how to hide drugs in the engine block of his SUV, a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe.

In February 2020, according to prosecutors, Adkins and a woman drove to the Chicago area to acquire drugs. On the drive home, they were pulled over by police, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker said during the hearing. Officers seized 23 pounds of marijuana and 17 grams of methamphetamine.

That led to a search of Adkins’ home, where officers found more drugs, as well as items used to package and distribute drugs. Parker also said there was “a large marijuana grow operation” in the attic.

Adkins was charged in March 2020. In May 2020, while living with his grandparents and being monitored electronically by federal officials, he “continued to possess, use and distribute methamphetamine,” Parker said. He also possessed a loaded pistol. Approximately $3,200 was seized at that home.

Adkins has been held at the Butler County Jail since June 2020. U.S. District Judge Douglas Cole ordered that Adkins continue to be held in jail until he is sentenced.

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