HELENA - A Montana State Prison employee was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he helped prison inmates send and receive drugs, according to the Montana Attorney General’s Office.
Charles Blattler was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit transferring illegal articles after reportedly facilitating the transfer of drugs among prison inmates in 2019 and 2020. The drugs included methamphetamine, suboxone, heroin, marijuana, and cocaine.
"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.
“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.
Others who were also sentenced in the case include 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 three years consecutive to his underlying sentence for conspiracy to commit transferring illegal articles.
Blattler was sentenced on August 31 by Judge Robert J. Whelan in Powell County District Court.