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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


September 28, 2010

Saunders’ Co-Conspirators Appear in Court

Marino pleads Guilty; Marshall Sentenced to 41 Months

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Two co-conspirators of Robert “R.J.” Saunders appeared in United States District Court on Monday, with one pleading guilty and another being sentenced to prison. MICHAEL MARINO and KIMBERLY ANN MARSHALL, both of whom were involved in a multi-kilogram cocaine and marijuana conspiracy with Saunders, appeared before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. on September 27, 2010, for their roles in the drug ring.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that

MICHAEL MARINO, 46 of Warwood, entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine from the Fall of 2001 to August 29, 2009, in Wheeling. Investigators made controlled buys from Saunders, and monitored his activities with various associates, including MARINO. MARINO, who was identified as a re-distributor of cocaine supplied to him by Saunders, faces 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

KIMBERLY ANN MARSHALL, age 37, formerly of Wheeling and now residing in Martins Ferry, Ohio, was sentenced by Judge Stamp to 41 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. MARSHALL entered a plea of 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, who has been in custody since August of 2010 due to the revocation of her release, was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal after the sentencing hearing.

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.

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