Christina Kamran-Kohnjani

Billings spa owner admits having 7 ounces of meth to sell

A Billings woman who admitted to distributing meth as part of a larger conspiracy will spend five years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Thursday sentenced Christina Kamran-Kohnjani, 31, to the term, which was shorter than an initial guideline range of about 10 to 12 years, saying Kamran-Kohnjani’s case was unique from co-defendants.

Kamran-Kohnjani, the judge said, had a “difficult childhood,” which included foster care, parents who abused drugs, mental health and drug abuse issues.

Watters also ruled that Kamran-Kohnjani was a minor player in the conspiracy and that Victor Rivera, one of the key associates suspected of bringing multiple pounds of meth, pushed her to sell meth and threatened her with a firearm.

Billings police arrested Rivera on Feb. 18, 2016 for possessing a concealed handgun at the Quik Spa, 2348 Grand Ave., which was owned by Kamran-Kohnjani and who called police.

Kamran-Kohnjani pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth.

Drug task forces began investigating a meth trafficking ring in Yellowstone County in 2015 in which Rivera and associates were suspected of running meth from California to Montana for redistribution. Eight others have been charged or convicted in the investigation.

Rivera, also identified as Victor Miguel Rivera-Munoz, of Mexico, and who was convicted of firearms crimes, is awaiting trial on meth trafficking charges. The trial is set for March 26.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.