Ross pleads guilty to drug charges

March 22, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Facing a trial for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated trafficking in drugs in the vicinity of a juvenile and several other charges, Monday Michel L. Ross, 39, of 10th Street in Portsmouth entered a guilty plea to three counts Friday afternoon.

“He plead guilty to three counts — conspiracy, funding drug trafficking, and drug trafficking,” Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said Friday afternoon, minutes after the plea was entered in Scioto County Common Pleas Court. “And his case is set for sentencing.”

Ross was the last of four individuals charged in Portsmouth’s first bath salts raid that occurred in December of 2011.

The other three, Raymond Robinson, 31; Latoshia R. Malone, 31 and Ranatha J. Thomas, 44 had already had their cases heard.

According to Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware, who at the time was acting chief, officers executed a search warrant at Judah’s Jams, 1020 Clay St., Portsmouth following an investigation in the sale of bath salts. Police said the search revealed evidence of the sale of illegal bath salts and more than 100 containers of synthetic marijuana. Officers also confiscated a .40-caliber handgun, pirated music CDs and counterfeit clothing and purses.

Bath salts is the informal name for a family of designer drugs often containing substituted cathinones, which have effects similar to amphetamine and cocaine. Their white crystals often resemble legal bathing products like epsom salts, but are chemically disparate from actual bath salts. Bath salts’ packaging often states “not for human consumption” in an attempt to avoid the prohibition of drugs. Other “street names” for this drug are Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at