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Judith Cossette

Judith Johanna Cossette

A Kalispell woman indicted in April on a "murder for hire" charge in federal court pleaded guilty Monday to a drug distribution charge swapped by prosecutors last month.

Judith Johanna Cossette, 66 when she pleaded not guilty to the original charge in April, pleaded guilty on Monday to possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone. The drug distribution charge filed in August carries a prison sentence 10 years longer, or twice as long as the murder-for-hire charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Racicot wrote in court filings that on March 13 Cossette sold several pills, including 19 Oxycodone tablets, to an undercover agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Cossette was charged with possession with intent to distribute in August, on the same day the plea agreement was filed. 

The indictment charging Cossette with murder for hire alleged the offense took place around the same time, from March 13 to April 4. Prosecutors said Monday that charge will be dismissed at Cossette's sentencing, which is set for Jan. 3, 2020.

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Cossette remains released from custody under conditions imposed by the judge.

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