Montana

Jan 17, 2013 12:15 PM by MTN News

One of MT's "Mountain Men" sentenced in medical marijuana case

MISSOULA - Dan Nichols, one of the so-called "Mountain Men", was sentenced to 48 months in prison Thursday morning in Missoula in connection for working as a guard at former statewide medical marijuana dispensary that was raided by federal agents in March of 2011.

Dan Nichols was arrested in May 2012 for his involvement with Montana Cannabis where he did some construction and also worked as a night guard.

Prosecutors say Nichols and other defendants in this case manufactured and distributed marijuana all over Montana, including in Missoula, Billings and Helena.

Investigators also found 20 firearms, including pistols and assault-style rifles, which prosecutors say were used in the alleged drug distribution.

Dan Nichols had faced several charges, including manufacture of marijuana, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and felon in possession of a firearm.

Butte police caught up with Nichols in May of 2012, and arrested him on a felony drug warrant because he had failed to show up for a court appearance.

Nichols and his father, Don, became well-known for the 1984 kidnapping of an Olympic athlete near Big Sky.

Don Nichols, 81, is still serving time in the Montana State Prison for kidnapping a jogger in 1984 and then shooting and killing one of her rescuers. He is serving an 85-year prison sentence and had a parole request denied last April.

Don and Dan Nichols ambushed and kidnapped Kari Swenson, a world-class athlete who was 22 years old at the time, while she was running in the mountains in Big Sky. They forced her into the woods and chained her to a tree.

When rescuers arrived, Dan Nichols shot Swenson. Don Nichols shot and killed Alan Goldstein who was trying to rescue Swenson. The Nichols then fled into the mountains and were caught five months later.

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