Wheeling woman admits to drug conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Melissa Joann Hibbitts, of Wheeling, West Virginia, has admitted to her involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.

Hibbitts, age 35, pleaded guilty today to one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base, Cocaine Hydrochloride, Methamphetamine, and Heroin.” Hibbitts admitted to working with others to sell cocaine base, also known as “crack,” cocaine hydrochloride, also known as “coke,” and methamphetamine from June 2019 to August 2021 in Ohio County and elsewhere, including the Southern District of Ohio.

Hibbitts faces up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn M. Adkins is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Ohio Valley Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, West Virginia State Police, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wheeling Police Department, investigated. The Belmont County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Clairsville Police Department assisted.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone presided.