Two plead guilty


ELKINS — Two out of 29 people who were indicted in a federal methamphetamine and firearms distribution federal case have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week.

Melissa Ann Masuga, 33, of Buckhannon, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of methamphetamine and admitted to conspiring with others to distribute methamphetamine in Upshur County and elsewhere from March 2016 to September 2017, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Clarissa Michelle Adkins, 24, of Wallace, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm. She admitted to illegally possessing two firearms — a .40-caliber pistol and a 9mm pistol — in Upshur County in April 2017.

Masuga and Adkins were originally named as part of a 50-count indictment and faced several charges.

Masuga faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million while Adkins could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The release states that under federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner prosecuted the cases. The investigation was collaborative between the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, The Mountain Region Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, The Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, Buckhannon Police Department and Weston Police Department are investigating.

U.S. Magistrate  Judge Michael Aloi presided.

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