Michelle Renee Kindness Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 28, 2013, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, MICHELLE RENEE KINDNESS, a 48-year-old resident of Billings, was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 98 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 5 years
KINDNESS was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
After learning that KINDNESS routinely brought methamphetamine onto the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation for distribution, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) drug unit agents began an investigation into KINDNESS. During the investigation, the BIA received reports from the FBI indicating that KINDNESS had been involved with trafficking meth since at least 2005, and that KINDNESS had purchased and sold twelve ounces of meth during the FBI investigation. FBI agents had purchased eight 1/2 gram baggies containing meth directly from KINDNESS.
On January 9, 2007, KINDNESS was arrested on the Crow Indian Reservation. During the arrest KINDNESS had several paper bindles of meth on her person.
The BIA drug unit conducted a controlled purchase of two grams of meth directly from KINDNESS on December 20, 2010.
On November 29, 2011, agents interviewed an individual in custody on tribal charges of possession of methamphetamine. The individual told the agents that she had purchased 1/2 ounce of meth directly from KINDNESS, in October 2011, and that she saw another 1/2 ounce of meth during the deal.
On April 30, 2012, KINDNESS was arrested on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation for intoxication. During a search incident to arrest, three grams of meth and $6,985 were found in KINDNESS's pants pockets.
On May 27, 2012, less than 30 days after the previous arrest, KINDNESS was arrested for DUI, which involved a head-on collision with a tractor and trailer. Once again, during a search incident to arrest, law enforcement seized 31 paper bindles of meth, 3.8 grams of loose meth in a plastic baggie, and $1,020.
On May 1, 2012, during an in-custody interview with KINDNESS, KINDNESS admitted that she had purchased and sold over one pound of meth over the past year.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that KINDNESS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, KINDNESS 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs.