November 07, 2006
Contact: SA Susan Wolf
Phone Number: (202) 305-8500
11 Defendants Indicted in Multi-State Drug Conspiracy
Allegedly Distributed Over 100 Kilograms of Marijuana in Hagerstown & Williamsport, Maryland; Martinsburg, West Virginia; and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
NOV 7 -- Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted 11 individuals in a multi-state drug conspiracy, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on September 26, 2006 and unsealed today upon the arrests of the defendants.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “The indictment of these 11 defendants for allegedly operating a large marijuana and cocaine distribution ring in western Maryland, West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania could only have resulted from the outstanding cooperative efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement agencies over the past year. Our investigation is continuing.”
The single-count indictment charges that from 2001 to September 2006, the following defendants conspired to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana and 500 grams or more of cocaine:
Alexander Ringus, a/k/a “Sonny,” age 31, of Williamsport, Maryland;
Raymond O. Leech, a/k/a “Neil,” age 38, of Hagerstown, Maryland;
Solomon D. Goss, a/k/a “Mark,” age 37, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania;
Simon Brown, a/k/a “Clive Burrows,” a/k/a “Robert Lee Smith,” age 41,
of Los Angeles, California;
Thomas J. Wackman, a/k/a “Reef,” age 46, of ;
James Bradley Larocca, a/k/a “Brad Larocca,” age 29, of Boonsboro, Maryland;
Erin Elizabeth Ringus, age 32, of Williamsport, Maryland;
Peter Joseph Ringus, age 27, of Hagerstown, Maryland;
Jeffrey Lynn Hovis, age 46, of Boonsboro, Maryland; and
Steven Barnhart, age 30, of Greeencastle, Pennsylvania;
Kasandra Sue Wriston-Rulison, age 37, of Glengary, West Virginia.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $1 million, including two residences.
The defendants were arrested in Hagerstown and Williamsport, Maryland; Martinsburg, West Virginia; and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Some of their residences were searched, as well as a campsite at McMahon’s Mill Recreation in Williamsport, Maryland and an automotive business, Advanced Auto Customizers, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
The defendants face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $2,000,000 fine. They are expected to have their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on November 6, 2006.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Washington County Narcotics Task Force; Washington County Sheriff’s Office; Hagerstown Police Department; Boonsboro Police Department; Maryland State Police; Franklin County, Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office; the Franklin County Drug Task Force; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Police Department; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Police Department; Pennsylvania State Police; Washington Township, Pennsylvania Police Department; West Virginia Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force; West Virginia State Police; Martinsburg, West Virginia Police Department; the Berkeley County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Department; and the Virginia State Police. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Hanlon and Bryan Giblin, who are prosecuting the case.