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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ohio Man And Two Wheeling Natives Charged With Cocaine Trafficking Near Local Schools

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Samuel J. Pete, 28 of Youngstown, Ohio, Krista D. Dennis, 28, and Patrick A. Groves, 24, both of Wheeling, West Virginia, were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple drug trafficking charges, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced today.

The indictment charges the defendants with numerous counts of distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of various protected locations including Bishop Donahue High School in McMechen as well as West Virginia Northern Community College and Ritchie Elementary School in Wheeling. Pete (5 counts), Dennis (4 counts), and Groves (3 counts), each face up to
40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000.00 for each count.

The indictment charges all three defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute crack cocaine for which they each face up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $1,000,000.00.

Pete is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine for which he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.00.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McWilliams is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The case is being investigated by the Marshall County Drug Task Force and the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, both HIDTA-funded initiatives.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 7, 2015