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Mudding Melee: Men Facing Criminal Charges for Damaging Land

Three men accused of damaging Little Missouri National Grasslands while driving their pickups in the mud four years ago

BISMARCK, N.D. — Three men accused of damaging land in the Little Missouri National Grasslands while driving their pickups in the mud four years ago are facing federal charges.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Terry Klein Jr., Bradlee Cole and Dustin Nelson are charged with aiding and abetting injury and depredation to property of the United States. The men lived in Montana at the time of the incident.

Cole and Nelson have pleaded not guilty. Klein has not appeared in court.

Authorities say the men were “mudding” in an illegal off-road use area along the North Dakota-Montana border known as Estes Springs. Five full-sized pickups allegedly became stuck in the mud and three road graders used to try to recover the vehicles also got stuck.

Damage was estimated at about $5,000.