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Accused drug smuggler sees felony case dismissed

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | February 21, 2024 12:00 AM

A 23-year-old accused of smuggling fentanyl into the Flathead County Detention Center last year saw the felony charge filed against her dismissed in January.

Prosecutors brought Melanie Lee Hickok of Kalispell up on a drug distribution charge after two overdoses inside the county jail shortly after she entered the facility in November, according to court documents. She pleaded not guilty at her Dec. 14 arraignment in Flathead County District Court. 

Authorities questioned Hickok, who was booked into the county jail on an outstanding warrant in a 2021 drug possession case, shortly after the overdoses, court documents said. Pressed, she allegedly admitted to smuggling in fentanyl.

Prosecutors sought to see the charge dismissed with prejudice on Jan. 9, several days after Hickok’s sentencing in the drug possession case. On Jan. 4, Judge Robert Allison gave her three years with the state Department of Corrections as well as credit for 44 days of time served. He also recommended she undergo treatment for substance abuse. 

Judge Danni Coffman, who presided over the drug distribution case, ordered it dismissed on Jan. 10.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.