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Elisa Baker faces federal drug trafficking charges, in addition to second-degree murder for the death of her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.
A federal grand jury, sitting in Charlotte, indicted Elisa, 43, of Hickory, Wednesday on drug trafficking charges, according to Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
The indictment alleges that from 2006 to October 2010, Baker conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute the controlled substances oxycodone, hydrocodone and alprazolam. The indictment also alleges that Baker distributed and possessed with intent to distribute those same controlled substances during the same period time. According to the indictment, Baker also maintained residences in Granite Falls, Hudson and Hickory, for the purpose of distributing oxycodone, hydrocodone and alprazolam.
Baker is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million; three counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million; and three counts maintaining a place for the purposes of distributing a controlled substances, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charges contained in this indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Baker is currently detained in the Catawba County Detention Center. Her initial appearance in U.S. District Court has not yet been scheduled.
The investigation is being handled by the DEA, NCSBI and the Hickory Policy Department.
The prosecution is being handled by assistant U.S. attorneys Dana O. Washington and Cortney S. Escaravage.