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Federal charges loom for Elisa Baker

September 17, 2011

Elisa Baker's days in court are not done.

Baker still faces federal drug trafficking charges. The trial is currently set to be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Voorhees at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 in Statesville, according to the U.S. District Attorney's western North Carolina office.

The charges include:

n 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 up to $1 million

n three counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million

n three counts of maintaining a place for the purposes of distributing a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Baker was indicted May 18 on the federal charges.

According to the U.S. District Attorney's office, 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 – and that she maintained residences in Granite Falls, Hudson and Hickory for those purposes – during the same time period.

North Carolina District 25 Attorney Jay Gaither did not comment on the federal charges this week, but he said Friday that he expects Elisa Baker's 15-18-year state prison sentence to be supplemented by a federal sentence.

"The reputation of the federal system is that they don't indict people that they don't intend to prosecute," he said. "It should be 15-18 years with a little asterisk off to the side."

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