Today Montana’s headlines blare “Federal Warrant Issued for 1980’s Montana Mountain Man” after federal indictments of former partners of the now-defunct medical marijuana business, Montana Cannabis Inc. were unsealed. Montana’s media offers a sensational headline as well as a dramatic, emotional story to match- that is, if you are willing to buy the federal government’s version of the truth.
You may recall the story of the Nichols duo, Don and his son Dan, who kidnapped world class biathlete Kari Swenson while she was training in the mountains near Big Sky, Montana. The notorious Montana “mountain men” also murdered one of Swenson’s friends after he stumbled upon their hideout in the woods. Kari Swenson’s lung was punctured after Dan Nichols accidentally shot her during an armed standoff. She survived the injury and went on to win a bronze medal in the world biathlon championships after being rescued. Dan Nichols was released in 1991 after serving six years in prison for the crimes. His father is still in prison but is up for parole April 27.
Dan Nichols has been charged as an indicted co-conspirator with Chris Williams as well as Chris Lindsey, a Missoula attorney who actually left Montana Cannabis in January of 2010. What is so outrageous about the indictment is the bizarre conspiracy that the government has invented. First of all, Chris Lindsey, to the best of his knowledge, has never laid eyes upon Dan Nichols, nor has he heard of him. He was apparently brought on board by Chris Williams, who remained with Montana Cannabis until March of 2011, when federal raids shut down the business.
Apparently, in the eyes of the feds, if you are EVER involved with a “criminal enterprise”, you are not allowed to quit. You are also responsible for all crimes that are committed by any subsequent partner or employee of said “criminal enterprise” for eternity. Fourteen months prior to the 2011 federal raids, Chris Lindsey left Montana Cannabis after disputes over the manner in which the business was being operated. Apparently that isn’t good enough for the feds. He is now being lumped in with a kidnapper and murderer who he has never met, never spoken to, never even heard of. Why? Because sexy stories sell newspapers and when people read them, they believe them. The feds know that prohibition is on shaky ground in the US, jurors across the nation are not only expressing reluctance to convict marijuana “criminals”, many consider prosecution of these people, especially in states that have legalized medical use of marijuana, to be a colossal waste of taxpayer funds. Fortunately for the feds, the media is easily manipulated. We already know the truth doesn’t matter to US federal government as marijuana wouldn’t be illegal if they were interested in science or any factual evidence. They continue to promote their failed policies by utilizing fear. Americans are afraid of crazed, murderous mountain men who would dare kidnap a world-class athlete. Dan Nichols is considered armed and dangerous. I certainly wouldn’t approach him, that fear is most likely warranted. Chris Lindsey, on the other hand, is someone I would trust to watch my daughter. He is a kind, compassionate intellectual. He is an educated professional. He isn’t a firearm enthusiast and he isn’t the least bit violent. The actual truth isn’t nearly as scandalous though, so the feds will do their best to ensure Chris Lindsey’s story is suppressed. It appears that the indictment of the exciting “mountain man” was necessary to substantiate the sentences Chris Lindsey is facing for spending 10 months as in-house legal counsel for Montana Cannabis, if convicted of the federal crimes in which he is accused- mandatory minimum sentences total 690 years.
Another former partner of Montana Cannabis, Tom Daubert, who authored Montana’s original medical marijuana law, is scheduled to offer a guilty plea to a federal charge of “conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises” on May 3. Like Lindsey, Daubert divested his interest in Montana Cannabis long before the raids. Why he wasn’t also indicted with Williams, Nichols, and Lindsey is unclear at this time.
The recent indictments as well as sentences handed down to others charged and convicted (via plea deals) as a result of the March 2011 raids have indicated that Montana’s state law umbrella offers zero protection from federal prosecution, whether the accused was operating in “clear and unambiguous compliance with state law” or not. One can only wonder why Montana’s DPHHS employees, legislators who
pretended to deliver created regulatory legislation, and electric companies (the only REAL marijuana millionaires in the state) are not also indicted co-conspirators.
- Warrant Issued For ‘Mountain Man’ (myfoxchicago.com)
- ‘Mountain man’ in biathlete’s notorious abduction seeks parole (mercurynews.com)
- Montana’s Politicians… An Impotent Lot (montanafesto.wordpress.com)