Lynda Kiki French Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on September 12, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, LYNDA KIKI FRENCH, a 52-year-old resident of Columbus, appeared for sentencing. FRENCH was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 60 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 4 years
FRENCH was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On June 17, 2011, an officer from the Montana Highway Patrol told a detective with the Missouri River Drug Task Force that FRENCH was suspected to be transporting methamphetamine to Bozeman on a commercial flight from Phoenix, Arizona. Based on the information received from the Highway Patrol, the detective went to the Bozeman airport and saw FRENCH in the baggage claim area with three small children, her purse, and two small duffel bags.
The detective approached FRENCH and proceeded to interview her about her trip and his suspicions that she was in possession of illegal drugs. He told FRENCH that she was free to leave at any time and was not under arrest. FRENCH denied being in possession of meth and consented to a search of the luggage, but not her purse. After some additional conversation with the detective, FRENCH admitted to having a "personal use" amount of meth in her purse. She added that "personal use" meant about three "8-balls," and described how she acquired the drugs in Arizona.
FRENCH eventually allowed the detective to remove the meth from her purse. The drugs were analyzed by a DEA chemist, who concluded that FRENCH had possessed 25.5 grams of actual methamphetamine.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that FRENCH will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, FRENCH does 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 conducted by the Missouri River Drug Task Force.