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Browning woman sentenced to prison for meth distribution

GREAT FALLS—A Browning woman who admitted selling methamphetamine in the community for more than two years was sentenced on Jan. 15 to 42 months in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Nicole Smith, 34, pleaded guilty in October to possession with intent to distribute meth.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided.

In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said Smith possessed and distributed meth on and near the Blackfeet Reservation and out of Cut Bank. The Glacier County Sheriff’s Office and Cut Bank Police Department received information in June 2018 that Smith was selling meth. Confidential sources indicated they had bought meth from Smith on numerous occasions and at times bought “pound quantities.”  Law enforcement also conducted a controlled meth buy from Smith that same month.

In April 2019, Drug Enforcement Administration agents met with Smith, who was in custody on a traffic stop. After advising Smith of the evidence against her, Smith admitted she had obtained and sold several eight-balls of meth every week for more than the past two years. Smith also admitted getting five to six ounces of meth from a different supplier for redistribution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and DEA.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 to 2018. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

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