MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A northern Ohio man is going to prison for at least three years for distributing the synthetic drug known as bath salts.

Ahmad Fares pleaded guilty in September to possession of drugs and other charges. The 27-year-old was sentenced Wednesday in Mansfield.

The Mansfield News Journal reports that the charges stemmed from the seizure of 5,300 containers of bath salts with a street value of $212,000. Before bath salts were banned, Fares sold them at his drive-through business.

Fares apologized to the community and his family in court.

Bath salts are crystalized chemicals that are snorted, swallowed or smoked. They can cause paranoia and hallucination, and their use has led to hundreds of calls to poison centers nationwide. Ohio lawmakers made them illegal in 2011.