'Mountain man' Nichols gets 4 years on drug charge

2013-01-17T10:27:00Z 2013-01-17T19:43:05Z 'Mountain man' Nichols gets 4 years on drug chargeBy GWEN FLORIO Missoulian The Billings Gazette
January 17, 2013 10:27 am  • 

MISSOULA — A man who gained infamy when he and his father kidnapped an elite athlete in the 1980s was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison and three years of supervised probation for a federal drug case.

Dan Nichols pleaded guilty in October in U.S. District Court in Missoula to conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises.

Nichols was a security guard for the Montana Cannabis growing operation that was among several medical marijuana businesses targeted by federal raids in 2011.

Nichols and his father, Don, were termed "mountain men" after they kidnapped Kari Swenson while she was on a training run near Big Sky in 1984. The two lived in backwoods camps, and Don Nichols thought his son needed a wife.

Don Nichols shot and killed a man who tried to rescue Swenson, and Dan Nichols wounded Swenson during the same rescue attempt.

Don Nichols is serving a 85-year prison sentence in that case. His son was released in 1991.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Deals & Offers

Featured Businesses