(Missoula Current) A Missoula man on Wednesday was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for trafficking meth after police seized near seven pounds of the drug during a recent investigation, according to U.S. Attorney Jess Laslovich.

On the same day that James Allyn Batterton was sentenced in Missoula District Court, Gov. Greg Gianforte told a group of Billings officials that eight treatment courts in Montana would receive permanent funding for their programs.

That includes the Veterans Treatment Court and Fourth Judicial District Court, both located in Missoula.

“Treatment courts provide Montanans struggling with addiction with hope and opportunity as they get clean, sober and healthy,” Gianforte said in a statement. “They reduce recidivism and create better outcomes for more Montanans.”

James Allyn Batterton, 25, pleaded guilty in January to possession of meth with the intent to distribute.

Law enforcement last year executed search warrants in Missoula and Beaverhead counties and seized approximately seven pounds of meth from two Post Office boxes associated with Batterton.

In its case, the government alleged that Batterton imported meth into Montana through the U.S. Postal Service and resold it in western Montana. It's believed that Batterton distributed nearly 30 pounds of the drug, or the equivalent of nearly 109,000 doses.

The case was investigated by the Missoula High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

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