News Release
January 25, 2007
Contact: SA Terri Wyatt

Hughes County Man Gets 21 Years For Money Laundering
DEA investigation helps to convict 50-year-old man who purchased assets with drug proceeds

(MUSKOGEE, OK) - Sheldon J. Sperling, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that WOODY MICHAEL RIPPETOE, age 50, of Hughes County, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 262 months imprisonment and twenty-four (24) months supervised release for Conspiracy to Launder Money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and two counts of Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived from Specified Unlawful Activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.  The defendant was also ordered to pay a Special Assessment Fee of $100.00 per count.

“The charges arose from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and District Attorney Bill Peterson’s Task Force.  RIPPETOE conspired to distribute and caused to be distributed controlled substances in and around Hughes, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pittsburg, and Seminole Counties in the Eastern District of Oklahoma,” recalled U.S. Attorney Sperling.  “The defendant purchased assets with drug proceeds through structured financial transactions in order to avoid the detection of his illegal income.  RIPPETOE pled guilty to the charges in September 2006.” 

“The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma presided over today’s sentencing.  Assistant United States Attorney Rob Wallace represented the government.”