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Woman, 40, sentenced in plot to bring drugs to area

– Though her alleged accomplice remains at large, a 40-year-old Hamilton woman was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison on a drug charge.

In March 2012, Rene C. Rivera, 43, and Rachel L. McMillan, both from Hamilton, were charged in a three-count indictment, accusing them of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Rivera was also charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and McMillan was charged with attempt to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

A year ago, Rivera was pulled over in Steuben County with a shipment of heroin and crystal methamphetamine hidden in his pickup truck. He was released after investigators were initially unable to find the drugs stashed away in his truck’s front axle, the Steuben Sheriff’s Department said.

McMillan was arrested after she picked up the truck from police. She told police Rivera was bringing the drugs into Steuben County and had made similar trips before. McMillan said she took Rivera and another man to an airport in February 2012 so they could fly somewhere to pick up the truck and the drugs.

Rivera remains at large.

McMillan pleaded guilty last October to the first count of conspiracy, saying she worked with Rivera to possess more than 30 grams of methamphetamine and 100 grams of heroin.

Earlier this year, her attorneys asked for a three-year prison sentence, citing a year she spent clean from drugs and alcohol and the hardship that incarceration will pose on her children.

But U.S. District Judge Theresa Springmann said McMillan’s involvement in the drug trade was more than a one-time event. By assisting in the planning and execution of the trips, McMillan helped transport large amounts of methamphetamine from California to northern Indiana, Springmann wrote.

And when she went to pick up the truck, McMillan forged documents giving her power of attorney to help her try to get the truck back, believing it still held the drugs inside, Springmann wrote.

Springmann sentenced McMillan to 51 months in federal prison and two years on supervised release after she gets out of prison.