A Billings man sentenced in December to nearly nine years in federal prison for trafficking meth was sentenced Tuesday for felony burglary and theft.
Judge Russell C. Fagg sentenced Donald Richard Nissen, 52, to a total of 15 years in the state prison, with 10 years suspended, for two counts of felony burglary, a count of felony theft and a count of misdemeanor resisting arrest. Fagg also ordered him to pay $8,738 in restitution.
Nissen previously admitted that last January he fled from police in a stolen vehicle, jumped out of the vehicle and broke into a building, where he stole another vehicle.
The judge followed the recommendations of a plea agreement and dismissed a count of felony criminal endangerment and a misdemeanor count of fleeing from a peace officer, along with five charges in two other cases, one from last year and another from 2011.
The sentence will run in addition to the sentence Nissen received in federal court. In December, a federal judge sentenced Nissen to eight years and nine months in prison following his guilty plea to a conspiracy count in connection methamphetamine trafficking.
Fagg asked Nissen to address a group of high school students who happened to be visiting the courtroom Tuesday.
Nissen, dressed in a jail uniform and with his hands cuffed, turned and said, “I’m just a typical drug user.”
He explained that he started doing drugs when he was 19 and partying with friends, who pressured him into using. “It just grabs you,” Nissen told the students. “All you want to be is a people pleaser. You have to buy the dope.”
“I just suggest that you stay away from drugs,” he said.