Letter Lists Ohio State Memorabilia Seized In Tattoo Probe
10 Investigates obtained on Thursday a letter from the U.S. Attorney's Office that was sent to The Ohio State University detailing the football memorabilia that was seized during an investigation into a tattoo shop owner.
The letter, dated Dec. 7, 2010, was addressed to Sandra Anderson, the university's associate vice president and deputy general counsel.
The letter states that an investigation led to the seizure of a "significant amount of OSU sports memorabilia" from Edward Rife's home and tattoo business in west Columbus. Along with the letter was a breakdown of the memorabilia, where it was obtained, and the items' estimated costs.
WEB EXTRAS: Letter From U.S. Attorney Detailing Memorabilia Seized | NCAA Letter To OSU | Tressel's NCAA Compliance Form | SPECIAL SECTION: Ohio State Investigation
"Mr. Rife claims these items were provided to him as gifts and/or purchased from certain players, whom he has met through his tattoo shop," investigators wrote.
The letter stated that some of the memorabilia came from current Ohio State players, who, as it was later determined, provided Rife with the items in exchange for free or reduced-cost tattoos.
A subsequent investigation led to the suspension of six players for a portion of the upcoming football season. Jim Tressel was also suspended for the first five games of 2011, although an NCAA investigation is ongoing and additional penalties could be levied against him and the football program.
The U.S. Attorney's Office acknowledged that no Ohio State players were involved in Rife's alleged drug trafficking activities, but they asked Ohio State for help in notifying the players about the items in case they were wrongfully obtained.
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