Five people are in custody after deputies said they have busted a bath salts operation.
Warren County Sheriff's Commander John Burke said Eli Ohayon and Misty Davis operated a bath salts distribution business out of a Mason office building under the name Far East Imports. Three others have been arrested in connection with the bust, but their names have not yet been released.
"The name 'bath salts' gives it that sounding of something that is pretty benign, and it's anything but benign," Burke said. "To me, it's kind of a combination of methamphetamine and LSD, and the people we've seen on it can be very dangerous."
Burke said they were getting the bath salts from China and then distributing them to convenience stores across the country.
Deputies seized office supplies, computers and some drugs from the office location and also seized a large amount of the drugs from a storage unit at a Mason Store and Lock facility, Burke said.
The total value of bath salts seized is estimated at more than $500,000, Burke said. Bath salts became illegal in Ohio in August 2011.
"This was a very large operation and we are able seize thousands of dosage units of bath salts," Burke said.
Burke said some of the bath salts were being distributed to local convenience stores but did not say which ones, noting that the investigation is ongoing.
Davis' attorney said after her arraignment Wednesday that deputies are mistaken.
"These aren't bath salts. These are products that are coming from China and they're novelty items. They're clearly marked not for human consumption. These aren't bath salts," Jim Arnold said. "these weren't even drugs. These are novelty items, multiple kinds."
Arnold said his client had the items tested before they were sold to make sure they weren't a controlled substance.
The Sheriff's Office will release more information on the investigation next week.