"Mountain man" arrested in Butte

2012-05-22T22:45:00Z 2012-05-22T22:58:49Z "Mountain man" arrested in ButteBy John Grant Emeigh of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

Authorities arrested the fugitive known as the “mountain man” Tuesday afternoon in the Butte Walmart parking lot.

Dan Nichols, 46, had been wanted by law enforcement since March after he failed to show up for a pre-trial hearing in Jefferson County on a drug case. Nichols gained infamy for abducting a world-class biathlete in Big Sky in 1984.

Rod Ostermiller with the U.S. Marshals Service said the service got several tips last week and had confirmed sightings of Nichols in the Bozeman and Three Forks area. Marshals followed up on the tips, he said, and spoke with several people who knew of Nichols and where he was. Those tips led the marshals to think Nichols was in Butte, Ostermiller said.

The marshals learned what kind of car Nichols was driving, a red 1982 Honda Prelude with Gallatin County plates, and contacted Butte police, who caught Nichols. Police were told to use caution in the arrest, because Nichols was reported to be possibly armed.

Three officers spotted Nichols’ car and conducted a felony stop, with their guns drawn and ordering Nichols on the ground, according to Butte police. Nichols complied with police and was arrested without incident.

“They did a very good job for us,” Ostermiller said of the Butte police.

Sheriff John Walsh said Nichols didn’t have any weapons at the time of his arrest.

Nichols is expected to be arraigned in Butte Wednesday and he will be turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service. He was being held in the Butte jail Tuesday.

Nichols was arrested Aug. 13, 2011, at a music festival near Three Forks after police found him with marijuana and heroin. He pleaded not guilty to two counts each of possession and distribution of dangerous drugs and one count of tampering with evidence.

In 1984, Nichols and his father, Don Nichols, kidnapped Kari Swenson. Don Nichols was sentenced to 75 years in prison for shooting a man who was helping search for Swenson. Dan Nichols served 10 years for kidnapping.

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. Benaround
    Report Abuse
    Benaround - May 27, 2012 8:01 am
    Vegasdigger said: ""Benaround" - perhaps, and I know I will get mocked for this, but just maybe we only hear of these things because they get caught in Butte. Look, he clearly was in Bozeman but no one caught him there....just sayin.... "

    Surely you jest! The BSB Police Dept cant hardly catch a cold, let alone criminals!

    Opps, My bad!

    They are good at intimidating and catching Underage drinkers.....major crime ya know?
  2. Vegasdigger
    Report Abuse
    Vegasdigger - May 23, 2012 4:41 pm
    "Benaround" - perhaps, and I know I will get mocked for this, but just maybe we only hear of these things because they get caught in Butte. Look, he clearly was in Bozeman but no one caught him there....just sayin....
  3. DrivebyGravy
    Report Abuse
    DrivebyGravy - May 23, 2012 8:02 am
    HEre for the folk festival. One month early

  4. Benaround
    Report Abuse
    Benaround - May 23, 2012 3:57 am
    Its just amazing isnt it?
    They ALL come to Butte. I dont care what their crime is, was or is going to be, THEY always come to Butte.
    We must just be a criminals magnet or its just so easy to get away with it here!

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us at editor@mtstandard.com.

If your comment was removed or isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).
  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.
  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.
  5. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
  6. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
  7. Your comment is in really poor taste.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Montana Standard News Topics