Steven Mark Niziol appeared Tuesday in Baxter County Circuit Court where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he admitted to selling seven grams of methamphetamine during a monitored drug buy in 2018.

Niziol, 31, was contacted by cell phone and made arrangements to buy one quarter ounce of meth for $400. Niziol told the person to meet him at a specific location on Main Street in Mountain Home.

The person was given $400 in marked money form law enforcement officers and driven to the location Niziol specified. Niziol arrived and the transaction was completed. Officers said the recording of the drug deal was good, according to an affidavit.

Following his admission in court, Niziol was sentenced to the maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. His legal troubles are not over however.

Robbery and kidnapping charges

Niziol also faces Class Y felony charges of kidnapping and aggravated robbery, Class B felony charges of first-degree battery and residential burglary, a Class C felony of theft of a firearm and three Class D felony charges of terroristic threatening, felon in possession of a firearm and theft of property for a Gassville incident that occurred May 21.

On that date, a resident of the city told Police Chief Tim Mayfield that he was weed trimming and took a break, going inside his home for a cool drink. Once inside, two men, Niziol and 19-year-old Mountain Home resident Johnathan Smith, began beating him severely.

During the beating, the man said he spotted a female, Jessica Wuest, a 34-year-old authorities believe is from California and currently residing locally. The woman was carrying a .22 rifle belonging to the accuser, along with several loaded magazines, according to the affidavit.

During the beating, Niziol and Smith reportedly took the accuser’s wallet and valuables he had on his person. As they struck the accuser, they reportedly spoke about a debt the accuser owed. However, the accuser told police he did not know either of the men who attacked him.

At one point, Niziol reportedly tied a rope to a lock and swung it in a threatening manner. The men then took the accuser outside and forced him into a shed, reportedly so no one would see his bloody condition.

One person stayed by the shed as two others attached a trailer of the accuser to their vehicle and began loading the victim’s electronics, musical instruments and household items onto the trailer.

After the robbers systematically looted the man’s home, they told the man if he told anyone about the incident they would come back and kill him, using the gun they stole from him.

The accuser reportedly had several bruises and abrasions on his neck, face and head, according to the affidavit. The man complained of pain in his ribs and loose teeth.

Medical personnel who arrived on scene recommended the man go to the hospital for treatment due to the severity of the swelling on his forehead. The man declined, telling authorities he did not have health insurance, according to the affidavit.

If convicted of either Class Y felony, Niziol could receive a sentence of life in prison.

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