- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri woman was sentenced to nine years in federal prison without parole for participating in a conspiracy to exchange food stamps for methamphetamine and cash.

Federal prosecutors say 48-year-old Julie Drake, of Nevada, was sentenced Tuesday for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

When pleading guilty in January, Drake admitted she accepted the food stamps from August to October 2015 in Bates and Vernon Counties, which she exchanged for methamphetamine or a percentage of the benefits in cash. Drake then used benefit cards and PINs belonging to others to buy food.

During a search of her home in October 2015, officers found baggies of methamphetamine, digital scales, a safe containing $4,720 and four benefits cards belonging to other people.

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