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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Career Criminal Gets 140 Month Sentence


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

WHEELING, WV – A Wheeling man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to serve the next decade in federal prison for selling crack cocaine.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that Emanuel “Sammy” BANKS, age 40, was sentenced to 140 months in prison and three years of supervised release for “Distribution of Crack Cocaine.” BANKS’ sentence was enhanced due to his significant criminal history, which includes prior felonies for “Bringing Stolen Property into the State, “Aggravated Robbery”, “Receiving Stolen Property”, “Unlawful Assault”, and “Distribution of Cocaine Base within 1000 Feet of a Playground.”

BANKS was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr., who also ordered the forfeiture of $4,990 in U.S. currency seized from BANKS. BANKS was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending designation to a Federal prison. This case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld.

In other court proceedings, Ihlenfeld announced that Jerome Melvin ROSS, age 23, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 31 months in prison and six years of supervised release for “Distribution of Crack Cocaine within 1,000 Feet of Riverview Towers.” ROSS, who is free on bond, will self-report to prison. This case was also prosecuted by Ihlenfeld.

Nicole GUST, age 20, of Bellaire, Ohio, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison and three years of supervised release for “Distribution of Crack Cocaine.” GUST was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending designation to a Federal prison.

John M. WAKIM, age 57, of Wheeling, entered a plea of guilty before Judge Stamp to “Mantaining a Drug-Involved Premise.” WAKIM owned a garage in Wheeling and allowed others to use the location to store drugs and conduct drug-related activities. WAKIM, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Ronald Gene VANCE a/k/a “Sammy,” age 63, of Columbus, Ohio, entered a plea of guilty before U.S. Magistrate James E. Seibert to “Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone.” VANCE, who is free on bond, faces up to 20 years in prison.

The BANKS, ROSS, GUST, WAKIM, and VANCE cases were investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force (OVDTF), consisting of officers and agents from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police-BCI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard. The OVDTF is an Appalachia HIDTA funded unit.

Rocci WADE, age 59, of Moundsville, West Virginia, was sentenced to 97 months in prison and three years of supervised release for “Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Oxycodone” and “Distribution of Oxycodone.” WADE, who was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John P. Bailey, was part of a five person conspiracy that distributed painkillers in the Moundsville area between 2010 and 2013. WADE is in custody pending designation to a Federal prison. The case was prosecuted by Bernard and was investigated by the Marshall County Drug Task Force which includes officers and agents from the Moundsville Police Department, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Marshall County Drug Task Force is an Appalachia HIDTA funded unit.

Finally, Dallas ACOFF, age 25, of Wheeling, entered a plea of guilty before Judge Stamp to “Escape.” On January 17, 2014, ACOFF escaped from the custody of the Bannum Place halfway house where he was serving the remainder of his 41-month sentence for the distribution of crack cocaine. ACOFF, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces five years in prison. This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated January 7, 2015