WARSAW — A Warsaw woman was sentenced today, March 20, after pleading guilty to fraud.
Melissa Lynn Wheeler, 36, 7933 E. CR 500S, Pierceton, was charged with fraud, a Level 6 felony, and possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor, after she was found in a drug filled hotel room during a fraud investigation in Sept. 2016.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s detectives were contacted by Lake City Bank officials of a potential fraudulent use of stolen checks from The Vineyard Church, Syracuse.
The accused, Andrew Steven Secor, Warsaw, lead officers to a hotel room where, he advised, he had syringes and methamphetamine. In the hotel room officers located Wheeler. Inside of her purse was a glass smoking device used for smoking methamphetamine.
According to the affidavit, Wheeler admitted to fraudulently signing one of the checks in the investigation case.
Wheeler appeared in Circuit Court with her attorney, C. Austin Rovenstine. “I’m sorry for what I did and I’m trying to my best to move forward,” Wheeler said. She added that her drug issues have been a 16-year battle.
Judge Michael Reed accepted Wheeler’s guilty plea, sentencing her to 1 1/2 years at the Kosciusko County Jail for forgery and 60 days for possession of paraphernalia, to be served concurrently. This sentence was suspended and will be served on probation.
As part of Wheeler’s probation, Judge Reed ordered her to two self-help meetings each week.