News and Press Releases

Kathleen Guay Preston and Kristy Ann Howard Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 2, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, KATHLEEN GUAY PRESTON, age 47, and KRISTY ANN HOWARD, age 24, residents of Missoula, appeared for sentencing.

PRESTON was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 51 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

HOWARD was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 48 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Community Service: 200 hours
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

They were sentenced in connection with their guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From the fall of 2004 through February of 2008, PRESTON and HOWARD conspired with other individuals to deliver methamphetamine from the Tacoma, Washington to the Missoula area.

When questioned by law enforcement, PRESTON admitted to dealing methamphetamine with this identified group. Specifically, she stated that from August of 2006 until October of 2006, she obtained one to two ounces a week from M.M. and from October through December of 2006, she received two ounces each week. In December 2006, she received eight ounces of methamphetamine to help M.H. raise bail for M.M., who had been arrested. PRESTON then received two ounces of methamphetamine every two weeks from M.H. through March of 2007.

She further stated that during April of 2007, another individual was looking for a source of supply, so PRESTON asked M.H. to drop off some methamphetamine for him. M.H. dropped off four ounces of methamphetamine for the individual.

After M.M. and M.H. were arrested, C.S., their source of supply, contacted PRESTON. C.S. wanted PRESTON to work off her drug debt owed to M.M., and to C.S. indirectly. PRESTON agreed. C.S. dropped off four ounces of poor-quality methamphetamine. PRESTON kept two ounces and HOWARD took two ounces. PRESTON returned the methamphetamine to C.S. when he returned due to its poor quality. C.S. dropped off an additional four ounces a few days later. Again, PRESTON kept two ounces and HOWARD took two ounces. PRESTON sold an eight-ball and returned the rest to C.S.

PRESTON estimated that of the methamphetamine she obtained, 70% went to another individual and 15% went to HOWARD until HOWARD cut out PRESTON and started dealing directly with M.M. and M.H.

This individual provided a statement to law enforcement in June of 2008. He identified HOWARD as a source of methamphetamine. He stated that HOWARD obtained methamphetamine from PRESTON but then jumped PRESTON and began obtaining 1/4 pound (4 ounces) quantities directly from PRESTON'S source, to include M.M., M.H., and C.S.

The individual further stated that for four months in early 2007, HOWARD would give him an 8-ball (4 grams) which he would sell. He would normally sell an 8-ball in less than a day and would often obtain multiple 8-balls each day from HOWARD.

A cooperating witness ("C1") told law enforcement in July of 2008 that he dealt briefly with HOWARD. Approximately April through July of 2007, C1 provided methamphetamine to HOWARD. During that time, C1 delivered 1/4 ounce (4 grams) quantities about three times until she was able to purchase one ounce quantities ($1,000/ounce). C1 then delivered one ounce quantities to her on seven occasions during that time period.

A second cooperating witness ("C2") told law enforcement that from 2005, C2 received approximately one ounce of methamphetamine from HOWARD. They lived together beginning in October 2007. When they lived together, HOWARD took three trips to Washington by Greyhound bus to pick up methamphetamine. C2 did not know the amount that HOWARD picked up.

Around Thanksgiving 2007, HOWARD called C2 from Spokane and asked C2 to pick her up. C2 saw HOWARD with two 8-balls of methamphetamine. C2 was given a teener for picking up HOWARD. C2 said C2's car was used numerous times by HOWARD and others to make drug runs. C2 knew that HOWARD had a friend "Lori" and that HOWARD and "Lori" would pool their money for drug runs. Finally, C2 sold meth three times in May or June of 2008 to C.P., and each time it was one gram and the methamphetamine was through HOWARD.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missoula High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.



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