Multiple Cases Heard in Federal Court

U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr., sentenced Emanuel “Sammy” Banks to nearly 12 years in prison and three years of supervised release for distribution of crack cocaine.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II, who prosecuted the case, said the sentence was enhanced due to Bank’s significant criminal history, which includes prior felonies for bringing stolen property into West Virginia, aggravated robbery, receiving stolen property, unlawful assault and distribution of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a playground.

Stamp also ordered Banks to forfeit $4,990 in cash.

Banks was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending designation to a federal prison.

In another case, Ihlenfeld said Stamp sentenced Jerome Melvin Ross, 23, of Wheeling, to two years, seven months in prison and six years of supervised release for distribution of crack cocaine within 1000 feet of Riverview Towers. Ross, who is free on bond, will self-report to prison.

The judge sentenced Nicole Gust, 20, of Bellaire, to one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised release for distribution of crack cocaine.

Gust was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending designation to a federal prison.

John M. Wakim, 57, of Wheeling, pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premise.

Wakim owned a garage in Wheeling and allowed others to use the location to store drugs and conduct drug-related activities. Wakim, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Ronald Gene “Sammy” Vance, 63, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate James E. Seibert to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

Vance, who is free on bond, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Ihlenfeld said the Ohio Valley Drug & Violent Crime Task Force investigated the Banks, Ross, Gust, Wakim and Vance cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Bernard prosecuted them.

U.S. District Judge John P. Bailey sentenced Rocci Wade, 59, of Moundsville, to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone and distribution of oxycodone.

Ihlenfeld said the case was part of a five-person ring that distributed pain killers in the Moundsville area between 2010 and 2013. Wade is in custody pending designation to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Bernard and was investigated by the Marshall County Drug Task Force.

Dallas Acoff, 25, of Wheeling, pleaded guilty before Judge Stamp to escape.

Ihlenfeld said on Acoff escaped Jan. 17 from the custody of the Bannum Place halfway house where he was serving the remainder of his three-year, five-month sentence for the distribution of crack cocaine. Acoff, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces five years in prison.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service.