IDAHO FALLS — A 28-year-old man was sentenced to jail Wednesday after selling fentanyl pills near an elementary school.
Nickolas Rasmussen was booked in the Bonneville County Courthouse before District Judge Bruce Pickett and sentenced to one year in prison with an indefinite term of nine years.
“I don’t think you’re a good candidate for probation. I cannot justify putting you on probation with a history of selling substances,” Pickett told the court.
Rasmussen was dressed in a black shirt and had come alone since posting bail in April.
He was originally charged with criminal delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school in December.
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“It’s about 10 or 11 houses from Hawthorne Elementary and people in Idaho Falls don’t like the idea of selling drugs while their kids are walking home from school,” said attorney Sean Johnson. of the State of Idaho.
Charging documents show that on November 23, Rasmussen allegedly sold four “dirty thirty” fentanyl pills to an undercover police detective for $100. The Idaho Falls police, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho State Police continued to set up undercover operations to purchase the drugs. Click here to read more.
“He’s had a severe, serious drug addiction since he was 14 or 15,” said Kelly Mallard, Rasmussen’s attorney.
Mallard explained that Rasmussen changed his life at some point. He got a job, got married, bought a house and was doing just fine until the house burned down.
“Nick has a recurring back problem. He and his wife were both taking painkillers, which were legally prescribed. Their painkillers contributed to some of the damage from the fire. The doctors who prescribed the painkillers for him would not give him any more “Mallard told the court. “Foolishly, they looked for painkillers on the street. He bought what he thought was plain oxycodone, it turned out to contain fentanyl, and after the having bought several times, he himself was addicted…”
Mallard explained that Rasmussen then started selling to support his own habit and that’s when law enforcement found out.
“He’s an addict who needs help,” Mallard said.
However, he believes Rasmussen can pull it off.
Lance Turman owns a concrete company and employed Rasmussen. Turman was called to the stand.
“He’s been great (as an employee),” Turman said.
Turman was asked if he knew before hiring Rasmussen of his pending charges.
“Yeah…I have no problem hiring people if I think they’re sorry,” Turman said.
Later, Rasmussen addressed the court and the judge with tears in his eyes and said he was sorry.
“I would like to apologize for the actions that I have committed. I just wish to see my daughter grow old. I’m just sorry,” he said.
After Rasmussen’s conviction, he was handcuffed and taken away.
“The court is going to recommend that you be placed in their treatment program or something similar to the runner, but that’s in the prison system…or St. Anthony’s work center. I hope you benefit from the training and treatment in the prison system,” Pickett said.
Rasmussen’s wife, J’Lynn Rasmussen, filed a lawsuit against her for being similarly implicated after drug deals with undercover cops. She is due to be sentenced Sept. 21 at the Bonneville County Courthouse.