Eddie Rife Pleads Guilty to Selling Marijuana and Laundering Money
The tattoo parlor owner who purchased OSU memorabilia from current players and traded tattoos for signatures pleaded guilty this week to selling marijuana and laundering money. The FBI investigation of Rife started the spiral downward for Ohio State and their football team which led to 6 players being suspended, head-coach Jim Tressel resigning, and Terrelle Pryor leaving early for the NFL supplemental draft. The plea deal has been in the works for a number of months and includes Rife forfeiting $50,000 in drug money. He gets to keep the memorabilia that he received from players.
Rife is such a fan of the Buckeyes that he hopes to recover all the memorabilia that was seized during an April raid of his shop Fine Line Ink and Westerville home. With friends like Rife, who needs enemies? Some of the items include conference championship rings, gold pants, autographs, and game worn equipment. Rife did not anticipate brining down the football program and getting their much loved coach fired, but the average drug dealer doesn’t have much foresight. Through his attorney, Steve Palmer, Rife reported that at no time was marijuana traded for memorabilia. US Attorney Kevin Kelley stated a similar sentiment about any connection between the drug business and Ohio State players.
If he receives the maximum sentence for both charges he could face 60 years in prison and a $2 million fine. The minimum time of the sentence is five years. Rife upgraded his drug business in 2009 when he went from 10 pounds a week to up to 500 pounds, the total estimate over a two year period is between 800lbs and 1500lbs. He has been cooperating with authorities which could reduce his sentence.
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