By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A Great Falls man who was arrested in Havre last year on federal drug charges has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Morris Duane Buckles, 38, was sentenced by Judge Sam E. Haddon on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls in connection with his conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana. The two charges stemmed from the seizure of cash and drugs during the search of Buckles' vehicle and hotel room in Havre in April.
He was on parole for negligent homicide at the time, having been released from prison two months earlier.
On April 24, state Probation and Parole Bureau officials in Cascade County issued an arrest warrant for Buckles after he absconded from their supervision. The FBI and the Hill County Sheriff's Office arrested him the following morning during a traffic stop near the Holiday Village Shopping Center.
A search of Buckle's vehicle and hotel room netted 60 grams of methamphetamine, 2.5 pounds of marijuana and $15,000 in cash, according to the Tri-Agency Task Force.
A second man arrested at the hotel and charged in connection with the bust has not been sentenced.
In April of 1998, Buckles was sentenced in Garfield County to a decade in prison after he was convicted of one count of negligent homicide, Garfield County Attorney Nick Murnion said. Buckles was also convicted of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, he said.
The convictions stemmed from an incident in which Buckles drove a vehicle off a bridge 10 miles east of Jordan, resulting in the death of the female passenger, Murnion said. Drugs were found at the scene of the accident, he said. Buckles was released from Montana State Prison on Feb. 25.