BILLINGS — A man and woman who admitted possessing methamphetamine to sell after law enforcement officers found the drug hidden under carpeting in their Ballantine residence were sentenced today to prison terms, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
William Curtis Hill, Jr, 39, of Bozeman, and Christine Jean Reiling, 43, of Park City, each pleaded guilty on June 25 to possession with intent to distribute meth.
Hill was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Reiling was sentenced to three years in prison and four years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
The prosecution said in court documents that on Feb. 22, 2019, law enforcement received permission to search Hill and Reiling’s residence for a fugitive. During the search, officers pulled back loose carpeting in the master bedroom and found a clear bag containing 28.1 grams of meth. Officers also found a smaller bag of meth in a spare bedroom. In a subsequent search, officers found another small bag of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Hill and Reiling both told officers the meth found in the master bedroom had been given to them to sell by two of Reiling’s friends. Hill said he hid the meth under the carpet.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 48% from 2013 to 2019. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.