A 44-year-old Bigfork man who was arrested driving a vehicle containing around 500 grams of methamphetamine was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release in U.S. District Court in Great Falls on Wednesday.
In June, Shane Alan Nault pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, informants first notified a multi-agency task force of Nault’s activities in the fall of 2017. Law enforcement then conducted an undercover operation to purchase meth from Nault and witnessed multiple drug transactions take place in Nault’s pickup. In March 2018, officers arrested Nault while he was driving a truck belonging to an acquaintance and discovered a pistol, about 500 grams of meth and other drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.
Nault was charged in federal court July 2019 and apprehended one month later after a dramatic pursuit in Woods Bay. According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spotted Nault while he was working at a Woods Bay business and notified the sheriff’s office. When deputies went to arrest him, Nault jumped into Flathead Lake and swam into the bay where deputies attempted to chase him by commandeering a private boat. That effort was unsuccessful but deputies did eventually track Nault down after a brief foot pursuit along Driftwood Lane.