Big Sky Roundup

Former Montana State Prison employee sentenced to five years in prison for role in drug case

By: - September 9, 2022 3:08 pm

The Joseph P. Mazurek Justice Building in Helena which houses the Attorney General’s Office, the Montana Supreme Court and the state law library (Photo by Eric Seidle/ For the Daily Montanan).

A Montana State Prison employee who helped inmates transfer drugs to each other was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to helping move drugs into the state prison, the Montana Attorney General’s office announced in a press release Friday.

In 2019 and 2020, Charles Blattler helped inmates of the prison send and receive drugs to each other, including methamphetamine, suboxone, heroin, marijuana and cocaine, according to the press release.

“Our work to keep Montanans safe extends into the prisons and other correctional facilities. I’m grateful to the Department of Corrections for their assistance and cooperation in investigating and holding these criminals accountable for bringing drugs into the State Prison,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in the release.

Three inmates were also sentenced in the case: Brett Russell McKeehan, an inmate who received 20 concurrent years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit distribution of dangerous drugs; Charles Dustin Rickett, who received 25 concurrent years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit distribution of dangerous drugs; and Zachary Tucker Martin, who received 3 years consecutive to his underlying sentence for conspiracy to commit transferring illegal articles.

“The Montana Department of Corrections has zero tolerance for these types of activities in its facilities. We are thankful for the thorough investigation conducted by the DOC’s Investigations Bureau and aggressive prosecution by the Montana Department of Justice,” Montana Department of Corrections Director Brian Gootkin said in the release.

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