By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A Havre woman has been sentenced to prison for selling methamphetamine to a police informant.
During an emotional hearing on Monday, District Judge John Warner sentenced Patty Marlene Dubois, 39, to the Montana State Woman's Prison for a term of four years.
The plea marked the second felony drug conviction for Dubois, who served 18 months in prison for a prior charge.
Monday's sentence was punishment for a 2002 incident in which the FBI and Tri-Agency Task Force monitored a drug transaction between Dubois and a confidential informant. She was charged on July 12 with criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, and pleaded guilty in January.
A tearful Dubois asked Warner for leniency on Monday, as did defense attorney Jeremy Yellin.
"I want to be a mother to my children," Dubois said, and sobbed quietly as her daughter testified on her behalf. Her daughter, a standout high school student, took the stand dressed in her letterman's jacket. She told Warner that Dubois has been very supportive as a mother.
"She never misses my basketball games," the girl said, and struggled visibly to control tears.
Warner acknowledged that he was affected by the exchange and sentenced Dubois to less than the six years in prison that prosecutors recommended.
The decision marked a change from 1999, when Warner sentenced Dubois to more prison time than Hill County Attorney David Rice recommended.
Dubois pleaded guilty Dec. 10, 1998, to criminal possession of dangerous drugs after she was charged in connection with drug raid at her Box Elder residence.
According to the charging document, the Tri-Agency Task Force served a search warrant during the early morning hours of May 26, 1998. Agents discovered meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, cash and guns.
Agents found a ledger book that indicated drugs had been traded for jewelry, chain saws, stereos, movies and clothing, the charging document said. Inside the house, agents found "numerous tools along with about 31 stereos," the document said.
Rice recommended Dubois be sentenced to 60 to 90 days in jail. Warner ruled that Dubois presented "a serious threat" to the community, and handed down an 18-month prison sentence.