A Cuyahoga County man caught with illegal synthetic drugs during a raid on a Streetsboro business last winter will attend court-ordered drug treatment instead of doing jail or prison time.
Brendan W. Ryan, 29, of North Olmsted, recently was granted drug treatment in lieu of conviction by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman.
Pittman found that Ryan's crime -- possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony -- met the criteria for treatment in lieu of conviction. He was found to be drug dependent by a certified addiction specialist, drug abuse was a factor in the crime and Ryan has no prior felony crimes on his record, she said.
Pittman said Ryan must attend a qualifying treatment program, do outpatient care, use no drugs for at least one year, attend three addiction recovery meetings per week for a year and find a home group and sponsor in order to have his charge vacated and the case closed.
Ryan pleaded guilty to the lone felony charge in September. He was caught possessing the illegal, synthetic hallucinogenic drugs known as "bath salts" during a raid by the Portage County Drug Task Force on the Twilight Boutique at 9334 S.R. 43 in Streetsboro on Feb. 14.
Ryan's arrest, the raid on that business and two others in Kent followed a one-month long investigation by the drug task force into the alleged sale of synthetic drugs at the three businesses. Bath salts were banned in Ohio in 2011.
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