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Tattoo Artist Linked To OSU NCAA Investigation Guilty
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The tattoo parlor owner whose purchase of OSU football memorabilia triggered an NCAA investigation pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to federal drug charges.
Edward Rife, 31, faces up to 60 years in prison for his part in a major drug trafficking organization which ultimately led to the resignation of Ohio’s State head football coach.
Rife pleaded guilty to distributing more than 800 pounds of marijuana and to money laundering. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Kelley said Rife had to forfeit the money he made from selling drugs. The memorabilia could have been used as collateral.
“He’s now given a check from his attorney’s trust account for $50,000 to satisfy the forfeiture. What that means is that ultimately if everything goes through in the forfeiture is that he will get the OSU memorabilia he had back,” Kelley said.
The charges against Rife do not directly involve OSU, but the investigation into Rife was how the university first learned of the memorabilia sales. Former coach Jim Tressel resigned after he did not report his players’ involvement with Rife.