Idaho Falls pair enter guilty pleas on meth charges

Two Idaho Falls residents pleaded guilty this week in connection with a series of drug-related crimes committed in the region, U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced in a news release. 

Nicholas Olsen, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday and Chanel Bistodeau, 32, pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after an early spring arrest attempt resulted in the fugitives leading police on a two-week manhunt before they were captured.

According to court records, Olsen and Bistodeau were pulled over in late March at an apartment complex in Blackfoot. When the officer approached the vehicle, Bistodeau fled on foot while Olsen was apprehended. Olsen managed to escape on foot during a search.

Officers searched the vehicle and found approximately 10 ounces of methamphetamine, three pistols, and drug paraphernalia.

After a several-week manhunt, police apprehended Olsen and Bistodeau at a hotel in Idaho Falls following a standoff that lasted several hours. Officers discovered a pistol, eight grams of methamphetamine, and over four grams of heroin from a search of their room.

According to the press release, the charge for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine is punishable by 10 years to life in prison, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release.

A close working relationship between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, local prosecutors, and federal agencies through the Eastern Idaho Partnership is credited with the apprehension of Olsen and Bistodeau.

“(The Partnership) is meant to forge better federal and local partnerships so we can better combat drug trafficking, illegal firearms, and other crimes in the region,” Bryan Wheat, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, said in the release. “You can see how it’s better when federal and local law enforcement can work together.”

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill will preside over Olsen’s and Bistodeau’s sentencing on Jan. 18.

Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763.