An Oregon woman whose incarcerated boyfriend died after she passed him meth during a long kiss has been sentenced to two years in prison for her part in a conspiracy to get the drugs behind bars, according to reports.
Melissa Ann Blair kissed Anthony Powell as her visit with him at the Oregon State Penitentiary came to an end last year, passing him seven tiny balloons filled with methamphetamine in the process, The Associated Press reported.
Powell and several others devised the plan to get drugs inside the prison, but the scheme went horribly wrong when two of the balloons ruptured in Powell’s stomach a short time later, authorities said.
Powell, 41, died of methamphetamine toxicity.
“It was tragic and sad, but he shares responsibility for what happened,” U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez said of Powell’s part in his death.
There was reportedly a dispute as to whether Blair participated of her own free will in the scheme, as her attorney, John Ransom, said his client felt coerced by Powell even though he was in prison.
Blair used methamphetamine, but was not addicted, he said.
“It was a very Svengali-type situation where he had total control over her life,” Ransom told The AP. “She had to do whatever he said.”
Powell was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder in the killing of his mother-in-law, whom he stabbed to death while he and his then-wife stayed with her in 1995.
Powell’s close friend, Brandy Pokovich, told the judge in a victim impact statement that she believed Powell felt remorse for his crime.
“Now, because of the choices that were made, I no longer can pick up the phone and hear his voice, I can’t go on a visit and see his big cheesy smile and get the best hug in the world,” said Pokovich, who became pen pals with Powell after he wrote her husband, a former inmate.
Pokovich said she helped Powell find girlfriends through her social media accounts and introduced him to Blair.
Besides being sentenced to two years in federal prison, Blair was ordered to complete three years of post-release supervision and participate in drug treatment and mental health programs, The AP reported.
Blair, who pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy charge she faced, did not make a statement in court.
Four other defendants in the case who have also pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge are set to be sentenced in the coming weeks, according to The AP.