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Press Release

Operation Free Market Update: Huntington Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington woman pled guilty today to a federal drug conspiracy charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Maechelle Relf, 27, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging her with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl.

“Relf is one of seven defendants charged in Operation Free Market,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “During the investigation of this drug network operating between Detroit and Huntington, law enforcement seized approximately 130 grams of fentanyl and 120 grams of heroin.”

Relf admitted that between December 2018 and May 2019 she conspired with other individuals to distribute heroin and fentanyl in Huntington, West Virginia.  Relf admitted that she would travel to Detroit, Michigan to obtain heroin for George Lockhart for him to sell in Huntington. 

Relf faces up to twenty years in federal prison when she is sentenced on February 3, 2020.

Operation Free Market was a long-term drug investigation in the Huntington area.  The investigation was the result of a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West.  

The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie S. Taylor handled the prosecution.


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Updated October 28, 2019

Drug Trafficking