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Man sentenced to 10 years on drug, money charges

A 34-year-old former Springfield man accused of leading a major drug trafficking ring was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and fined $5,000.

Antwane J. Rhodes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and one count of money laundering in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Rhodes allegedly received shipments of 100 to 200 pounds of marijuana delivered on a motorcycle trailer to his home, investigators said, and received large shipments of pot at a warehouse in Columbus.

“At it’s peak, the organization was receiving between 1,200 to 1,800 pounds of marijuana in a month,” U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart said.

“The organization was generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through the sale of illegal drugs,” Stewart said.

Rhodes reportedly laundered money he received from marijuana sales by buying vehicles from a Springfield car dealer and other locations, as well as through jewelry and funneling money into bank accounts for a fake company the organization established.

He was ordered to forfeit 10 pieces of jewelry, more than $27,000 in cash and a 2010 Chevrolet Camero he purchased from a Springfield auto dealer, a 2006 black Ford F-150 truck and a 2008 GMC Yukon Denali purchased at auction.

Four other Springfield men and a Columbus man have already been sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy.

Marc Clark, 32, of Springfield, who was also accused of leading the drug ring, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Steve Blackmon, 33, of Springfield, and Shawnte M. Lynn, 35, of Springfield, were both sentenced to 15 months in prison, and Jayson Reed, 31, of Springfield, was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison.

Erik Neely, 34, of Columbus, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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