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Two from Ironton charged in marijuana ring

Two more Lawrence County residents have been charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Paul Brad Wheeler and Ricky Young Jr., both of Ironton, were named along with four others in criminal informations on Aug. 20. This means that they have waived their right to have evidence against them heard by a grand jury.

On Aug. 24, a motion to schedule a guilty plea hearing was filed for Young.

“A motion to schedule a plea hearing has been filed in Young’s case. However, a hearing has not yet been set for either case, said Tracy Chapman, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in West Virginia. “We have no further comment beyond (that) information.”

A forfeiture was also filed for Wheeler stating that any property obtained or used from the alleged drug distribution conspiracy will be seized.

The charges allege that Young conspired to distribute marijuana in or around Barboursville, W.Va. between the summer of 2008 to July 2009.

Wheeler is alleged to have conspired to distribute marijuana in or around Huntington, W.Va. between 2007 and September 2009.

The others named on Aug. 20 were Jason Luburgh of Zanesvillle, Ian McFarlane of Columbus, Sean Crager of Huntington and Jacob Dodson of Washington Township.

Federal prosecutors have declined to comment whether these charges are related to the $10 million marijuana distribution conspiracy in which eight people, including Barry M. Adkins of South Point, were indicted back in July.

“More information will be available at the plea hearings, including a stipulation of facts,” said Chapman.

That indictment stated that Adkins, along with Rosa Imedla Ledezma, Christopher Clark, Jay Van Meenen, Jeffery Perry, Russell Nelson and Mark Chappalear, allegedly conspired to sell 1,000 kilograms of marijuana since May 2002. Richard Fleming was also indicted for distributing 100 kg of marijuana around the Nitro area.

Adkins was arraigned on Aug. 18. A pre-trial motion hearing was set for Sept. 20 and a jury trial was set for Oct. 5 in Huntington, W.Va.

Young declined to comment. Wheeler was not reached for comment.