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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist


August 12, 2010


Wheeling Resident Enters Plea on Drug Charge

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - A 39 year old Wheeling, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty on August 12, 2010, in United States District Court in Wheeling before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that ROBERT LEE SAUNDERS, also known as “R.J.,” entered a plea of guilty to one count of an Indictment charging him with the conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana from at least January of 2005 to August 28, 2009, in the Northern District of West Virginia and elsewhere. SAUNDERS, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of five to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force conducted an investigation over a two year period into the cocaine and marijuana conspiracy activities of SAUNDERS and his associates. As part of his plea, SAUNDERS admitted to distributing more than eight pounds of cocaine, as well as 100 pounds of marijuana between 2005 and 2009. Those drugs had a street value of more than $500,000. SAUNDERS’ co-defendants, Stacey Minter, Jennifer Sorg and Kim Marshall had previously entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr. The case was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force. The Task Force consists of officers from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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