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Breaking Good

Originally Published: September 26, 2013
By Paul Kix | Outside the Lines &
ESPN The Magazine
The plan had been for Joe O'Brien and Melissa Strain to meet Friday at noon in Helena, Mont., and divide up the meth. The two would gather in her car and open the FedEx envelope that the drugs were always shipped in. Joe would then stash some in his pockets or gym bag for his personal use and drive back to Great Falls, an hour and a half northeast, where he was staying for the weekend and where he, as Montana State's assistant head football coach, had afternoon recruiting trips. Meanwhile, Melissa, Joe's partner in drug deals, would haul the rest back to Bozeman, home to MSU, where she would distribute the meth from her campus apartment to her street-level dealers and later divvy up the profits with Joe. But on that Friday in September 2003, nothing went as planned.

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