Former state prison worker sentenced for drug smuggling role

DUNCAN ADAMS

No, he didn’t bake the drugs into a pie.

A 62-year-old Helena man who once supervised a bakery at the Montana State Prison was sentenced Aug. 31 in Powell County District Court to five years to the Department of Corrections for helping inmates smuggle illegal drugs into the prison.  

Charles Blattler pleaded guilty to two counts of “conspiracy to commit transferring illegal articles,” a felony.

In 2019 and 2020, Blattler helped prison inmates send and receive drugs to each other, with the drugs including methamphetamine, Suboxone, heroin, marijuana and cocaine.

Three inmates also were sentenced for their roles in conspiring to receive contraband drugs.

A co-conspirator in New Hampshire who communicated with inmates by phone revealed code words used during recorded conversations: “Shingles” referred to Suboxone; “White spackle” referenced methamphetamine; and, “Porcelain angels” was code for cocaine.

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Brian Gootkin, director of the Montana Department of Corrections, said that the department has zero tolerance for such activities.

“We are thankful for the thorough investigation conducted by the Department of Corrections’ Investigations Bureau and aggressive prosecution by the Montana Department of Justice,” Gootkin said.

Patrick Moody of the Montana Attorney General’s Office

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