A 900-pound man was set to be literally cut out of his house in Virginia on Monday afternoon in a huge operation to bring him to court to face drug charges.
The FBI and US Marshals Service were asked to join local ambulance, fire and emergency personnel in getting Kenneth Hicks, 48, out of his property in Emporia so he could appear in US District Court in Richmond.
The plan included cutting a hole in the side of Hicks’ house after bracing the structure and removing trees to clear a path — then mechanically lifting him out.
The monumental effort was at Hicks’ request so he could get to court, where he is expected to plead guilty in a cocaine conspiracy case, The Richmond Times-Dispatch said.
The suspect was warned that if he pleads guilty, he will be taken straight into custody and transported to a secure medical facility, the report states.
Hicks is one of seven people charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess more than a pound of cocaine, court records show.
He was allowed to make an initial court appearance in March through a video link and then asked for help to make the latest hearing in person.
“Once the medical personnel confirm that the defendant can be moved, the FBI will determine the best way to accomplish this while ensuring the safety and well-being of the defendant, as well as all government personnel,” stated a joint agreement by the government and the defense approved by the judge, according to the Times-Dispatch.
“The FBI and U.S. Marshals may determine that it is necessary to open a large hole in the wall of the structure in order to facilitate the use of a device capable of lifting the defendant’s weight.”
It stressed, “All steps will be taken to minimize damage and protect the defendant’s property.”
With Post wires
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