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MISSOULA—A Missoula woman who admitted her role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy was sentenced today to 46 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Crystal Marie Buhler, 35, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to distribute meth.

U.S. District Judge Donald M. Molloy presided.

In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said Buhler distributed drugs in the Missoula area from the spring of 2018 through June 2019. Witnesses told law enforcement that Buhler, along with a co-defendant, bought heroin from California with money obtained from the co-defendant’s meth distribution. Buhler had heroin shipped to her residence for distribution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force.

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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