2 men arrested in drug-related homicide

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Police have released the name of a Kalispell man killed in an alleged medical marijuana-related incident.

Wesley Collins, 49, apparently was killed late last week and his body taken to a remote wooded area southwest of Kalispell, where he was found Saturday. Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset said Collins died of blunt force trauma.

Robert Lake, 21, and Jeffrey Nixon, 19, were arrested Sunday afternoon in connection with Collins’ death.

Earlier in the day, police had said they were holding three suspects for questioning, one from Marion and two from Kalispell. The third man was released Sunday afternoon, Kalispell Police Det. Wade Rademacher said.

Investigators believe the homicide happened during the course of a robbery at Collins’ apartment in northwest Kalispell, where the three men were sharing medical marijuana. Police said it appeared a medical marijuana card holder was providing marijuana to the others and, according to Rademacher, the situation turned into a robbery.

The detective would not confirm who the card holder was, nor whether the homicide was premeditated.

Rademacher said Collins had been reported missing on Thursday or Friday last week. On Saturday afternoon police got a report that Collins’ apartment had been burglarized.

During interviews with the burglary suspects about 4:30 p.m., Rademacher said they told police of the homicide and the location of the body.

Officers checked at the site and found Collins’ body Saturday evening.

At 9:21 p.m. Saturday, a coroner from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office was sent to Patrick Creek Road, where deputies reported a crime scene was being secured. Kalispell police dispatchers on Sunday were not authorized to confirm whether that was where the body was found.

After police located Collins’ body Saturday, the Major Case Unit began processing the crime scene and Kalispell patrol officers started searching for the three suspects. By 6 a.m. Sunday, the police department, with help from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Northwest Drug Task Force, located and took the three suspects in for questioning.

Kalispell Police Sgt. Jim Wardensky is heading the investigation.

The victim’s body was taken to the Montana State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

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