DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of West Virginia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Bill Powell
, United States Attorney
Contact: Stacy Bishop

Hancock County man indicted on drug and firearms charges

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Lavel L. Hicks, of Weirton, West Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on drug and firearms charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.
Hicks, age 43, was indicted on two counts of “Distribution of Cocaine Base,” four counts of “Distribution of Cocaine Hydrochloride,” and one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.” Hicks is accused of distributing the drugs in November and December 2017 and December 2018 in Brooke and Hancock Counties. Hicks, having previously been convicted of murder in the second degree in Brooke County Circuit Court, is also accused of possessing a 9mm pistol.
Hicks faces up to 20 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for each drug count, and he faces up to 10 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the firearms count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danae DeMasi-Lemon is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Hancock-Brooke- Weirton Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Louisville Field Division