Ohio Lawyer Admits to Taking Money From Arizona-Based Drug Ring

A lawyer in Ohio pleaded guilty yesterday to money laundering charges stemming from money he received from the leader of a drug ring based in Phoenix.

Authorities say 40-year-old Kyle Hunter received more than $100,000 from convicted drug king-pin Leonard Barnhouse. Payment for services rendered, right? Wrong -- Barnhouse paid Hunter in cash and Hunter never reported it to authorities, despite knowing his, um, client was a known drug dealer.

At sentencing, Hunter could get up to five years in prison, three years probation, and a hefty $25,000 fine, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Phoenix is often considered a hub for drugs entering the country from Mexico and when it came to weed heading to the mid-West, the trafficking ring Hunter is linked to was no joke.

Authorities say that starting in 2001, the Pataskala drug-trafficking ring netted more than $10 million profit by moving weed from Phoenix to Ohio, where it was distributed to other mid-Western states.

At least 16 members of the trafficking ring were busted by the feds, including another lawyer, 41-year-old Charles W. McGowan, who is expected to plead guilty to similar charges next Wednesday.   

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James King
Contact: James King