Plea agreements were entered Monday morning, Aug. 11, in Kosciusko County Circuit Court by Christopher W. Alley, Dale R. Alley and Ashley M. Ward, owner and employees of “The What You Want” store formerly located in Syracuse.
Ward and Dale Alley each entered guilty pleas in exchange to having all but one charge, dealing in a synthetic drug or synthetic drug lookalike substance, dismissed. The charge was also dropped from a D felony to a Class A misdemeanor.
Dale Alley was originally charged with two counts of dealing a synthetic drug or synthetic drug lookalike substance, while Ward was charged with one count. Both were also charged with corrupt business influence.
Christopher Alley’s plea agreement, while pleading guilty to both counts — corrupt business influence a C felony, and dealing a synthetic drug or synthetic drug lookalike substance, Class D felony — was a deal for a reduced jail sentence. His plea agreement, while not limiting the court to the amount of time sentenced, did stipulate no more than two years be served per charge with each charge running concurrent. Any sentencing time over the two years would be suspended.
All three will return to court at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 29, at which time Judge Michael Reed will either reject or accept the plea agreements. Sentencing is expected to follow.
The trio was arrested last fall after police served a search warrant at “The What You Want” store, 503 S. Huntington St., Syracuse, on Sept. 20. The business, operated by Christopher Alley, had been under investigation by Syracuse Police and the Indiana State Police for several months relating to sales of synthetic cannabinois, also known as spice or K2.
Undercover purchases of the products were made by authorities and tested. Tests determined the substance being sold was illegal. A search warrant resulted in police finding over 100 packages of the synthetic drug along with records of transactions.