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HAMILTON - A Florence woman is facing charges she sent her incarcerated husband six hydrocodone pills hidden in the lining of a coat in October.

Teresa Roxann Ellis, 45, appeared before Ravalli County Justice of the Peace James Bailey Friday.

Court documents said authorities found the six pills hidden in the lining of a plaid-hooded jacket during a routine search at the Watch East facility in Glendive back.

The secure facility is operated under contract for the Montana Department of Corrections by Community, Counseling and Correctional Services, Inc. It houses individuals for intensive alcohol and drug treatment.

Ellis' husband, Cheyney, is a detainee there.

The package sent to Cheyney included the coat, a pair of gloves, a baseball cap and 5 pair of underwear.

Authorities noticed a seam in coat appeared to have been opened near the collar. When they looked closer, they discovered the pills hidden in the lining.

An investigator matched handwriting samples of Teresa Ellis' found in her husband's possession to the address and return label on the package sent to the facility.

Cheyney Ellis allegedly admitted to authorities he asked his wife to send the pills hidden inside the jacket during a telephone call he'd had with her. Ellis told the officials he was just joking.

Last November, two law enforcement officers approached Ellis as she was leaving a Stevensville doctor's office. At first, she denied having been involved in the matter, the affidavit said.

Later, she provided "ambiguous responses" indicating she had sent the package after her husband pressured her to do, the affidavit said.

She told the officers she had a serious problem with hydrocodone and that her doctor had increased her prescription to 120 pills per month, the affidavit said.

Bailey set bail at $3,500.


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