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Guilty pleas in interstate drug ring

Two Southern Kentucky men have pleaded guilty in a major interstate marijuana trafficking conspiracy, authorities said Thursday.

Robert "Fritz" Sheene, 48, of Casey County, and Ralph Michael Hughes, 38, of Lincoln County, admitted they conspired to distribute 5,000 pounds of marijuana that had a street value of $8 million, according to a U.S. attorney's office statement.

The drug ring shipped marijuana from Arizona to several states, including Kentucky, Ohio and Massachusetts from February 2005 to September 2007, officials said.

Sheene and Hughes are among 17 people charged in the case. The two face up to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 7.