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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wheeling Man Sentenced To Thirteen Years For Distribution Of Painkillers


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Six Others Sentenced in Federal Court

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Three of the defendants in a major tri-state drug trafficking investigation were among seven people who were sentenced in Federal Court in Wheeling.

According to United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, DEANDRE SCOTT ESTELLE, age 43, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 165 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for “Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances.” ESTELLE was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution.

ROBIN E. RUSK, age 27, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for “Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances.” RUSK, who is free on bond, will self-report to the designated Federal institution.

JENNY E. KOTA, age 22, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 3 years probation for “Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances.”

ESTELLE, RUSK, and KOTA were among 29 people who were charged in an investigation that included extensive surveillance, controlled purchases of narcotics, executions of search warrants, and seizures of narcotics, automobiles, and United States Currency.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randolph J. Bernard and was investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force, which includes officers and agents from the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Substantial assistance was provided by the Hancock-Brooke -Weirton Drug Task Force, which is made up of Weirton Police Officers, Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputies, and DEA Agents.

The following criminal defendants were also sentenced in Federal Court:

TONICA MITCHELL, age 28, formerly of Martins Ferry, Ohio, was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for the “Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Travel in Aid of a Racketeering Enterprise.” MITCHELL, who is free on bond, will self- report to the designated Federal institution.

ANTON DRAKE, age 32, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, for the “Distribution of Cocaine” in Benwood, West Virginia. DRAKE was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution.

The Mitchell and Drake cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr and investigated by the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force.

ERICA MORRIS HERCULES, age 29, of Wheeling, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for “Aiding and Abetting a Prohibited Person in the Possession of a Firearm.” HERCULES was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution.

The Hercules case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen L. Vogrin and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives along with the Wheeling Police Department.

JEFFREY BERESFORD, age 53, of Cameron, West Virginia, was sentenced to one year probation for the “Falsification of Union Records” from April of 2008 to January of 2010 by willfully falsifying his Plumbers ALF-CIO Local Union mileage logs. BERESFORD was also order to make restitution in the amount of $4,507.75 to the Union.

The Beresford case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Perri and was investigated by the United States Department of Labor-Office of Labor Management Standards.

Updated January 7, 2015