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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

July 11, 2011

Another Saunders’ Co-Conspirator Sentenced on Drug Charges

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Another co-conspirator of Robert “R.J.” Saunders was sentenced on July 5, 2011, in United States District Court in Wheeling by Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that MICHAEL M. PRICE, age 36, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to 63 months imprisonment to be followed by four years of supervised release. PRICE entered a plea of guilty on March 14, 2011, to one count of conspiracy 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; and one count of illegal use of a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine on August 4, 2009, in Wheeling.

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 and during monitored communications it was indicated that PRICE would supply Saunders with controlled substances for redistribution. The investigation revealed that PRICE was involved in the distribution of 500 to 1,000 grams of cocaine, as well as 20 to 50 pounds of marijuana.

PRICE was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr.

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