TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo man accused of setting a fire that killed two Toledo firefighters appeared in court on drug charges Monday.
Ray Abou-Arab is accused of intentionally setting fire to an apartment building he owned in north Toledo at the end of January. He faces two charges of trafficking a controlled substance, along with 13 charges in connection to the deaths of Privates Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman.
Abou-Arab and his son, Omar, were arraigned on drug charges last month. Ray Abou-Arab was supposed to face a judge on the charges, but his case was continued at the last minute.
In court Monday, Ray Abou-Arab did not face aggravated murder and arson charges. Instead, the focus was on charges involving trafficking a controlled substance. The prosecutor says these charges stem from the pair selling a form of synthetic marijuana at the carryout they own.
The elder Abou-Arab did not enter a plea and his attorney asked that a pretrial be set for next month.
The younger Abou-Arab's attorney entered a not guilty plea. He is now free on an OR bond.
The father and son will appear together again on May 1 for their first pretrial hearing.
May 1 is also Ray Abou-Arab's pretrial for the fatal fire. The cases are separate and in front of different judges, but attorneys and judges have been trying to coordinate the hearings so he only has to come to the courthouse on one day.