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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


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

 

October 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

More Saunders’ Co-Conspirators Indicted

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — Three additional co-conspirators of Robert “R.J.” Saunders were named in an Indictment returned on October 5, 2010, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that CORNELL P. WADE a/k/a “COOL C”, age 34, of Wheeling, West Virginia; MICHAEL M. PRICE, age 35, of Pataskala, Ohio; and, ROBERT ADAM PARSONS, age 30, of Glen Dale, West Virginia, were named in a 7-count Indictment charging violations of a drug conspiracy involving over 500 grams of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana as well as other drug-related counts.

WADE and PARSONS appeared before United States Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert today and were released on bond pending their arraignments.

Specific charges in the Indictment include:

Count One of the Indictment alleges that WADE, PRICE and PARSONS, as well as R.J. Saunders and Kimberly Ann Marshall, conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine from at least January of 2005 to August 28, 2009, in the Northern District of West Virginia.

Count Two of the Indictment alleges that PARSONS and Saunders conspired to knowingly conduct financial transactions with proceeds from the drug conspiracy knowingly the transactions were designed to conceal and disguise the nature, location, ownership and control of the proceeds from at least June of 2005 to late 2009 in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Count Three of the Indictment alleges that PARSONS illegally used a telephone to facilitate the distribution of marijuana on July 16, 2009, in Wheeling.

Count Four of the Indictment alleges that PARSONS possessed with intent to distribute marijuana on July 16, 2009, in Glen Dale, West Virginia.

Count Five of the Indictment alleges that WADE and Saunders illegally used a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine on July 24, 2009, in Wheeling.

Count Six of the Indictment alleges that WADE, Saunders and Marshall possessed with intent to distribute cocaine within 1,000 feet of the Madison Elementary School on July 24, 2009, in Wheeling.

Count Seven of the Indictment alleges that PRICE illegally used a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine on August 4, 2009, in Wheeling.

The Indictment also includes a Forfeiture Allegation wherein the United States seeks the forfeiture of any property that was used, or intended to be used, to commit or to facilitate the commission of the offenses alleged in the Indictment, including 1) $15,480 in United States currency seized from WADE’s residence on August 27, 20009; $1,800 in United States currency seized from PRICE during a traffic stop on August 4, 20009; and 3) a money judgment in the amount of $500,000.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five to 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on Count One of the Indictment; a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000 on Count Two; a maximum penalty of 4 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each of Counts Three, Five and Seven; a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on Count Four; and a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000 on Count Six of the Indictment.

Marshall pled guilty on July 6, 2010, to one count of an Indictment charging her with aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute cocaine on July 24, 2009, in Wheeling, when she was stopped regarding an outstanding warrant from Ohio for failure to appear for drug court. At the time of the stop law enforcement located approximately 1/2 ounce of cocaine hidden on her person. Marshall was sentenced on September 27, 2010, to 41 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Saunders pled guilty on August 12, 2010, 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 faces 40 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000. The federal investigation into the conspiracy is still active and ongoing.

The case will be 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.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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