Newspaper Heiress Admits Running Drug Den

By McCarton Ackerman 03/01/12

Heroin addict Victoria Scripps-Carmody's admission of guilt follows a favorable plea bargain.

scripps carmody.jpg
Scripps-Carmody has faced drug charges
over the past few years.
Photo via

Troubled newspaper heiress Victoria Scripps-Carmody pleaded guilty this week to maintaining an apartment in Burlington, Vermont that she used to distribute heroin and cocaine. After a plea deal, the government agreed to offer Scripps-Carmody a sentence equal to the time she spends in prison awaiting sentencing—which is set for June—plus two months already served. It means she'll avoid a potential 20-year prison term. Scripps-Carmody arrived back in prison last month; she'd been thrown out of a halfway house, in violation probation conditions stemming from an arrest last August. Two further charges will now be dismissed: possession of 193 bags of heroin on August 10, 2011, and conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base during summer 2011. Altogether, the 21-year-old has had four drug-related arrests in the last three years. She had a six-bag-a-day heroin habit. Scripps-Carmody and her lawyers have argued that her time in prison isn't helping and that she needs treatment—they cite a tragic life including the violent deaths of her parents on New Year's Eve 1993, when her father killed her mother with a claw hammer and then threw himself off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Scripps-Carmody is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Detroit News founder James E. Scripps, and a descendant of the family behind the E.W. Scripps Co., media empire.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.