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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist


December 20, 2012

Two Indicted, Arrested on Cocaine Charges

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Two individuals appeared in court yesterday pursuant to indictments returned against them by a federal grand jury.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that SHERMAN L. GRIFFIN and ANTON DRAKE were indicted on cocaine charges earlier this month and both were arrested on Wednesday at separate locations in the Ohio Valley.

GRIFFIN, age 35, of Martins Ferry, Ohio, was named in a five-count indictment charging him with one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute More than 500 Grams of Cocaine” and four counts of “Distribution of Cocaine Within 1,000 Feet of a Protected Location.” If convicted, GRIFFIN faces 5 to 40 years in prison and a fine of $2,000,000 on the conspiracy charge and 1 to 40 years on each of the distribution charges. The government is also seeking to forfeit a Chevrolet Tahoe from GRIFFIN and to obtain a $200,000 money judgment against him.

DRAKE, age 32, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was named in a one-count indictment charging him with “Distribution of Cocaine.” If convicted DRAKE faces up to 20 years imprisonment and $1,000,000 fine.

GRIFFIN and DRAKE appeared before Magistrate Judge James Seibert for their arraignments and both were released on bond.

The cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr and were investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, consisting of officers from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, the West Virginia State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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