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Press Release

Leader Of Drug Distribution Network Sentenced To 108 Months In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Richard L. Baron, 52, of Triadelphia, West Virginia, the leader of a prescription painkiller, heroin, and cocaine distribution network, was sentenced to 108 months in prison, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced today.

Sophisticated surveillance techniques employed by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, revealed that large quantities of prescription pills were obtained from Columbus, Ohio, Baltimore, Maryland, Detroit, Michigan, and California. Baron then orchestrated a complex collection of associates to redistribute the drugs. The distribution network focused primarily on prescription pills, but also involved heroin and cocaine.

Baron, also known as "Unc" or "Class,” admitted his role is distributing oxycodone, heroin, and cocaine when he pled guilty in October 2012 to one count of "Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I and II Controlled Substances." As part of his sentence, Baron will also forfeit more than $10,0000.00. The 108 month sentence will be served consecutive to a twelve month sentence imposed in a supervised release revocation hearing.

Additionally, Douglas Lee Saunders, 55, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to five years of probation. Saunders supplied the distribution network with at least 297 oxycodone pills.

Twenty-two others were convicted as part of the Baron case, including Robert Paige Patterson, Samneisha Walker, Letitia Kadija Tambi, Deandre Scott Estelle, Edward Barry Davis, Robin E. Rusk, Brian Nicholas Barber, Gary Jospeh Hack, Elliot Ross Fitzsimmons, Chelsea Aleece Radcliffe, Thomas James Kunik, Ashlie Noel Taylor, Jenny E. Kota, Richard Fischer, Kevin R. Mills, James Nathan Barcus, Jonathan Allen Wildey, Reuben Jule Rouse, Teo Marcero Coleman, Jarrett James Robinson, Richard Edward Lang, Jr., and Craig A. Booker.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bernard prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government.

Chief U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided.

Updated January 7, 2015