VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A woman charged with selling drugs out of her Oceanfront home faced a federal judge Tuesday afternoon, pleading guilty to dealing heroin.
Michele Best, 43, was arrested in March after the Virginia Beach S.W.A.T team surrounded her home and seized guns, drugs and cash from the Southside Road home.
According to facts presented to the court, an unknown person died of a drug overdose on December 16, 2017. Best was accused of making and selling heroin that killed the individual.
Between July 2017 and March 2018, Best was charged with making and selling heroin, cocaine, marijuana and fentanyl.
Documents say “it was part of the conspiracy for Best to traffic wholesale amounts of narcotics from out of state to the Hampton Roads area for resale.” Evidence shows Best would use surveillance cameras, safes and guns to protect the large quantities of drugs and cash that she kept at her home.
Court records state she bought $69,000 worth of cocaine from informants in March 2018.
Authorities found about $41,000 in cash, five firearms, 1.12 kilograms of marijuana, 1.85 kilograms of cocaine and 382 grams of a heroin and fentanyl mixture.
Court documents also say Best "knew the narcotics she was distributing were strong and had resulted in multiple overdoses by purchasers who used it," but continued to sell them.
Of the 12 felony charges, Best pleaded guilty to count one and two:
- Count One of the indictment charges the defendant with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to manufacture and distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, more than 100 grams of heroin, and more than 500 grams of cocaine.
- Count Two of the indictment charges the defendant with distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury.
She faces a mandatory 20 years in prison. Best is scheduled to be sentenced on March 14, 2019.