An Oregon woman whose inmate boyfriend died from a meth-laden kiss after a prison visit was sentenced to two years behind bars Tuesday on a drug conspiracy charge, reports the AP. Melissa Ann Blair passed seven tiny balloons filled with methamphetamine into the mouth of Anthony Powell during a long kiss at the end of a visit last year at the Oregon State Penitentiary. Two of the balloons ruptured in Powell's stomach and he died of methamphetamine toxicity, prosecutors said. US District Judge Marco Hernandez said Blair's actions were part of a scheme devised by Powell and others to get drugs inside the prison and that Powell shared responsibility for his own death. The 41-year-old was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder in the stabbing death of his mother-in-law, according to court records.
In addition to two years in federal prison, the judge also ordered Blair, 46, to complete three years of post-release supervision and participate in drug treatment and mental health programs. Blair used methamphetamine but wasn't addicted, her attorney, John Ransom, said outside court. He said Blair felt coerced by Powell even though he was behind bars. "It was a very Svengali-type situation where he had total control over her life," Ransom said. "She had to do whatever he said." A woman who described herself as Powell's "sister by choice" told the judge she believed Powell felt remorse for his crime. She recalled his "big cheesy smile" and said he gave the best hugs in the world. Four other defendants in the case, like Blair, have pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge and will be sentenced in the coming weeks.