Tattoo Shop Owner In Ohio State Football Probe To Plead Guilty

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The tattoo parlor owner whose relationship with Ohio State football players led to suspensions and an ongoing NCAA investigation will plead guilty to federal charges, including drug trafficking, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court on Friday.

Edward Rife faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to documents detailing terms of the plea agreement.

During a federal drug investigation, authorities raided Rife's home and west side tattoo shop.  Among the items seized were several pieces of Ohio State football memorabilia.

ONLINE EXTRA: Read the Plea Agreement | SPECIAL SECTION: Ohio State Investigation

A subsequent probe revealed that several current Ohio State football players had traded the items to Rife in exchange for tattoos.  Ohio State later suspended the players and coach Jim Tressel for the first five games of the 2011 season.

Tressel is being investigated by the NCAA over allegations that he knew about the players' rules violations but did not inform his superiors.

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Previous Stories:

April 28, 2011:  Letter Lists Ohio State Memorabilia Seized In Tattoo Probe
April 25, 2011: Ohio State Receives Notice Of NCAA Allegations
April 23, 2011: Progress In Tressel Investigation Could Come As Early As Next Week
April 19, 2011: Smith: Tressel's $250K Won't Cover Investigations
March 30, 2011:  Tressel Apologizes, Says He Has No Plans To Resign
March 17, 2011:  NCAA Upholds Ohio State Suspensions; Tressel To Sit Out First 5 Games In '11
March 14, 2011: Tressel Gets Standing Ovation At Canton Speaking Engagement
March 12, 2011: OSU AD Smith Asked About Tressel On CBS Broadcast
March 11, 2011: Attorney: Tattoo Shop Owner Didn't Tip Off Ohio State
March 10, 2011: Gee: No 'Smoking Gun' In Ohio State Rules Violation Investigation
March 9, 2011: Ex-Ohio State Football Player Says He Told Tressel About Player Investigation
March 9, 2011:  Tressel's Rules Violation Could Impact Ohio State Recruiting
March 8, 2011:   Ohio State Suspends Coach Jim Tressel For 2 Games
March 7, 2011:   Report: Tressel Knew About Violations Last April
December 30, 2010:  NCAA Rebuts Critics Of Ruling On Ohio State Violations
December 28, 2010: Suspended Ohio State Football Players Publicly Apologize
December 23, 2010:  Pryor, 5 Others, Face Sanctions For NCAA Violations
December 22, 2010:  Ohio State Probing Possible NCAA Violations By Football Players