Jarod L. Nielson, 35, was sentenced Thursday to 8 years in prison during a hearing in federal court in Boise.
Nielson had faced up to life in prison after pleading guilty to possession of heroin and methamphetamine with intent to deliver. Visiting U.S. District Judge Dee Benson from Utah also ordered Nielson to forfeit $27,358 in cash that had already been seized from him.
Nielson was driving in Cascade on May 16, 2016, when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. While an officer spoke with Nielson, his companion, Hannah M. Hendricks, 18, also from Boise, stepped out of the vehicle and went to use the restroom at a nearby business.
After she left, the business’ owner found four packages that police later determined contained 195 grams of methamphetamine, 118 grams of cocaine, 51 grams of heroin and 50 grams of marijuana. Hendricks later admitted to investigators that she left the packages in the restroom, saying Nielson told her to.
In a separate incident in June 2016, police found Nielson with more than 500 grams of meth and 100 grams of heroin. The cash seized from Nielson came from that second incident.
He was initially charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute, one for each incident, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
During the May stop, police found an AK-47 rifle. Nielson was prohibited from possessing firearms following a 2002 drug trafficking conviction in Elmore County.
Prosecutors dropped the firearms charge and one count of possession with the intent to distribute in exchange for Nielson’s guilty plea.
Hendricks pleaded guilty in April to possession with the intent to distribute. She faces 5 to 40 years in prison when she’s sentenced July 25.