Store owner pleads guilty in bath salt case

Prosecutors will recommend a six-year prison sentence for the man believed to be the area's main
supplier of bath salts.

Ahmad Fares, 26, of Ontario, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of drugs with a forfeiture
specification and conspiracy to commit felonious assault. He will be sentenced Oct. 17 before
Richland County Common Pleas Judge James Henson.

Fares could receive up to 11 years. He also will have to forfeit a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, valued
at $70,000, and $1,402 in cash.

The METRICH Enforcement Unit seized 5,300 containers of bath salts with a street value of
$212,000 from Fares on Nov. 4.

"For a good while, he was the main bath salts dealer in Richland County," First Assistant
Prosecutor Brent Robinson said. "He had enough drugs that he could have been charged with an
F-1 (first- degree felony)."

But Robinson said he didn't charge Fares with the more serious count because of his help in the
Dave Minard bribery case. The former police officer was sentenced last month to one year in

"Without him (Fares), we never would have gotten Minard convicted for what he did," Robinson

In June, Fares was arrested on the second charge after an investigation by the Ohio Highway

"He was basically paying someone to inflict bodily harm to an inmate that was locked up at a
correctional facility," Lt. Mike Kemmer previously said.

Robinson added, "The assault never happened, but he tried to have somebody assault the inmate
who (informed) on him in the bath salts case."

Robinson said his office would lobby for Fares to serve his full sentence.

"The court has indicated it is probably looking at a 4 1/2-year sentence with possible judicial
release after three years," he said.

Before bath salts were banned, Fares sold them at his store, the Lexington Avenue Drive-Thru.
In April 2011, someone broke into the store and stole about $2,000 worth of bath salts. Fares
made news again later that month when he shot an armed suspect in a botched robbery attempt at
his convenience store. He was not charged in that incident

Originally published in the News Journal on September 7, 2012

*click back button to return to news post list