News Release
Date: February 27, 2009
Contact: Rich Isaacson
Number: (313) 234-4310

Colorado Man Among Those Who Plead Guilty In Multi-State Marijuana Ring
- Defendants Hughes and Sheene admit distributing 5,000 pounds

FEB 27 -- (Bowling Green, KY) - Acting U.S. Attorney Candace G. Hill, of the Western District of Kentucky announced today that Ralph Michael Hughes, of Kings Mountain, Kentucky, Robert Sheene, of Liberty, Kentucky, and Connie Hendren, of Goshen, Ohio, pled guilty on February 24, 2009, to conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana,. As part of the same case, Lloyd Gregory Haines, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, pled guilty on February 25, 2009, to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

These four defendants were charged in a Second Superseding Indictment along with thirteen other defendants. On February 19, 2009, five other defendants in this same case pled guilty to conspiracy charges. The charges stem from a multi-state conspiracy in which marijuana was shipped from Arizona to Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts and other states from February 2005 through September 2007.

As part of their guilty pleas, Defendants Hughes and Sheene admitted responsibility for 2,270 kilograms (5,000 pounds) of marijuana; Defendant Haines admitted to 455 kilograms (1,000 pounds); and Defendant Hendren admitted to 340 kilogram (750 pounds) of marijuana.

The maximum potential penalty for Defendants Hughes and Sheene is life imprisonment, an $8,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of at least five years; and the minimum term of imprisonment is ten years. For Defendants Haines and Hendren, the maximum potential penalties are forty years imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of at least four years; and the minimum term of imprisonment is five years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. and was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Sentencing is scheduled on July 7, 2009, at 12:00 noon, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.