President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of a former Casper resident who was sentenced to nearly 22 years imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, according to a news release from the White House.

Raeanna Mae Paxton was among 111 individuals convicted of drug-related crimes whose sentences were communted, according to the commutation.

Paxton was indicted in November 2006 in the Southern District of Iowa. She pleaded guilty in November 2007, and was sentenced in July 2008 to 262 months plus eight years of probation, according to federal court records.

The commutation grant states her prison sentence is scheduled to expire on Aug. 30, 2018, provided she enrolls in a residential drug treatment program.

Neither the White House statement, nor a cursory review of the federal court records indicated Paxton's connection to Casper.

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 673 people, including 324 in August alone, according to Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel to the President.

"They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes, for example, the 35 individuals who life sentences were commuted today, Eggleston wrote. "For each of these applicants, the President considers the individual merits of each application to determine that an applicant is ready to make use of his or her second chance."

The commutations highlight the need for criminal justice reform legislation, including reforms that address excessive mandatory minimum sentences, he wrote. "Only the passage of legislation can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety."

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