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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hancock County man convicted of heroin trafficking

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Raymond James Ripley, Sr., 28, of Newell, West Virginia, was convicted today of heroin trafficking, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Ripley conspired with others to possess and sell heroin in Hancock County, West Virginia throughout 2013 and 2014. He pled guilty today to one count of “Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Heroin,” following an investigation by the Hancock, Brooke, Weirton Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

In another matter, Cornelius Johnson, Jr., 38, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was convicted today of cocaine trafficking. An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, revealed that Johnson engaged in cocaine trafficking in Ohio County, West Virginia throughout 2014.

Johnson pled guilty today to:

• Four counts of “Use of a Telephone to Facilitate the Distribution of Cocaine Base.” He faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count,
• Four counts of “Distribution of Cocaine Base within 1,000 Feet of a Protected Location.” He faces between one and forty years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000 on each count,
• One count of “Maintaining a Drug Involved Premises,” for which he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000, and
• One count of “Felon in Possession of a Firearm,” for which he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Vogrin prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government.

Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp presided.

Updated January 8, 2016