Plea deals reached for South Moccasin marijuana growers

Charlie Denison
Guy Kuhnhausen
Wess Kuhnhausen
Shaun Kuhnhausen

Justice has been served, said Fergus County Sheriff Troy Eades, as plea deals have been reached for all three individuals involved in the 2015 marijuana bust in the South Moccasin Mountains.

Wess Lee Kuhnhausen, 70, Guy Lee Kuhnhausen, 44 and Shaun Lee Kuhnhausen, 41, were arrested Sept. 9, 2015 for criminal production of dangerous drugs and the manufacturing of dangerous drugs (marijuana in excess of 60 grams), both felonies.

After acquiring search warrants, officers seized 46 marijuana plants (totaling more than 30 pounds of marijuana), more than 30 firearms and approximately $15,000 in cash from the scene. They also seized equipment in what Fergus County Undersheriff Rick Vaughn called “a major victory for the department.”

“As far as marijuana goes, this is one of the largest busts we’ve had in Fergus County,” Vaughn added.


Kuhnhausens agree to terms

On Feb. 28, 2017, Wess Kuhnhausen agreed to a recommended three-year deferred imposition of sentence.

“The plea agreement requires Wess to pay $35,000 cash to the Fergus County Sheriff’s Department,” Eades said. “Our department will give some of the money to the Lewistown Police Department for their help with the investigation.”

Wess was also charged with two counts of “use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture,” both felonies. As part of this agreement, Wess forfeited a Bobcat, an International bulldozer and a Komatsu excavator.

Last month, Guy and Lee reached their plea deals through the Montana Tenth Judicial District Court.

“On March 14, Guy Kuhnhausen entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement on the charges of criminal production or manufacturing of dangerous drugs, a felony, as well as two counts of using or possessing property subject to criminal forfeiture, also felonies,” Eades said.

Prosecution of Guy has been deferred for 20 years, Eades said. Guy also agreed to pay $20,000 to the Fergus County Attorney’s Office “to be divided between the Fergus County Sheriff’s Department and the Lewistown Police Department.”

Guy had 10 days to pay $10,000 of the $20,000 and must pay the remainder in minimum installments of $1,000 per year. According to the Fergus County Attorney’s office, he has paid in full.

As part of his pre-trial diversion, Guy – a Georgia native – was also required to leave the state of Montana.

“According to the court documents, Guy ‘shall not reside in, travel to or be physically in the state of Montana unless granted written permission,’” Eades said, “and he has 90 days from the date of this agreement to relocate outside the state.”

On March 20, Shaun Kuhnhausen entered a guilty plea for production of dangerous drugs, a felony, and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for the use of property subject to forfeiture, also a felony.

“Shaun has agreed to pay $25,000 to the local drug forfeiture fund to be split equally between the City of Lewistown and Fergus County,” Eades said. “Prosecution for Shaun is deferred for a period of 25 years or until his ‘donation’ is paid in full.”

Shaun is also partly responsible for forfeiting the equipment they used to operate the grow business. Once the equipment is in possession of the Fergus County Sheriff’s Department, they plan to auction off the items, pursuant to statutes.

Eades and Vaughn said they are pleased with the results following the bust, as hard work paid off.

“Undersheriff Vaughn worked this tirelessly, but it took everyone to serve the search warrants and make this happen,” Eades said. “I’m happy to see the closure. I think this was a success. At the end of the day, we took a significant amount of marijuana off the streets of Lewistown and Central Montana.”

“I’m proud of this office,” Vaughn added. “We spent a lot of hours on this together and did good work. It took all of us. Now we’re looking at $90,000-plus we can put into investigating more drug cases.”





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