GREAT FALLS - Benjamin Staples, also known as the 'Ice Man' has been sentenced to 10 years at a criminal mental health facility with 8 years suspended.
Staples was found guilty of posting threats on social media.
Staples had posted to Facebook using a fake account under the name of John Smith, posting several times about his intentions saying in part, ‘I'm going to kill a lot of cops very soon. Gun loaded, mags loaded, final goodbyes.’
The incident happened at Riverview drive east and 2nd street northeast.
Witnesses on the scene did tell KFBB they saw what appeared to be swat teams knocking down a garage door to gain access to a residence. Now, law enforcement officers are saying the community played an important role in making sure everyone stayed safe.
“There's no way for us to have deputies and police officers everywhere at all times.” Said Jesse Slaughter, “So without cooperation and good information from the community, that's what empowers us to do our job. The fact of the matter is, without the community asking for our assistance, there's a lot of situations where we can't even act under the constitution.”
The standoff ended peacefully without any injuries.
People around Great Falls may know the man as ice man because he refused to get off the frozen Missouri river for nearly two weeks two winters ago.