Two women plead guilty in federal drug case

A Baker woman and her sister-in-law pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge to drug charges involving hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Keirsten Alexander McKneely, 33, and Tiawanga McKneely, 34, both of Baker, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to a conspiracy charge.

Keirsten McKneely also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

Tiawanga McKneely pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone.

Jackson ordered a presentence investigation and said he will sentence the women on Sept. 12.

Keirsten McKneely’s husband, John “Wu” McKneely, 36, is scheduled to appear before the judge Thursday.

John and Tiawanga McKneely are brother and sister.

The Delta Narcotics Task Force arrested the three McKneelys in early December and seized a large amount of cash while conducting surveillance of a hotel in the Harding Boulevard area of Baton Rouge, Baker police officials said at the time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin told Jackson on Monday more than $32,000 in cash and 267 doses of hydrocodone were found in a hotel room. Tiawanga McKneely was arrested in the room, he said.

John and Keirsten McKneely were arrested the same day, Dec. 4, following a traffic stop, Fremin said in court. There were 252 doses of hydrocodone and 104 doses of oxycodone found in the car, he said.