A warrant has been issued for a Marion man facing possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs charges in Delaware County Common Pleas Court after he cut his ankle monitor last week.
Najmuddeen Abdus Salaam, 46, was scheduled to appear in court Monday and for a change of plea hearing before Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley. Salaam is charged with one count of possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs, which are first-degree felonies.
However, at the hearing, Gormley said he received a message Friday while he was out of the office asking him to give his magistrate permission to issue a warrant for Salaam after Salaam removed his ankle monitor and could not be found.
Salaam was at large on Monday.
Both of Salaam’s charges carry specifications stipulating that he is a “major drug offender” and according to the Ohio Revised Code the specification would require Gormley to sentence Salaam to the maximum sentence for any charge that carries the specification. According to the ORC, Salaam would face 11 years in prison for either drug charge.
According to court documents, the investigation into Salaam began when the Marion Police Lieutenant Chris Adkins received a tip that said Salaam, who was working as a counselor at the Marion Correctional Institute, was using his position to smuggle in drugs.
Marion police worked with troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol to stop Salaam in Delaware County on May 15 on his way back from what prosecutors say was a drug deal in Columbus. Prosecutors said during the stop troopers found a white-powder substance in a plastic bag wrapped in duct tape in Salaam’s pants.
Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Brian Walter said tests determined it was cocaine. Walter added there were about 249 grams of the drug.
After the stop, Salaam was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and trafficking in drugs. A Delaware County grand jury indicted Salaam on May 25.
Troopers also report they confiscated three cellphones, two laptop computers and more than $1,000 in cash during the stop.
Walter told Gormley at the arraignment that Salaam was convicted on rape and kidnapping charges in 1991 and served 18 years in prison — until his release in 2009. Since his release, he has reportedly been involved in speaking on prisoner re-entry into society and ways government and organizations can help. Salaam reportedly began mentoring other prisoners during his sentence at the Marion Correctional Institution and continued after his release.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.