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Few Details on Recent Indictments

The FBI announced 13 indictments last week, but few details of the alleged crimes have been released. The federal grand jury indictments name thirteen people from Jackson and Shannon County. The charges are almost all marijuana related and have conspiracy to distribute attached.

Three of the thirteen indictments mention conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The arrests resulted from “Operation Eagle Eye,” an investigation from a joint drug taskforce consisting of:
• The Federal Bureau of Investigation
• The Bureau of Indian Affairs
• The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation
• The South Dakota Highway Patrol
• The Pierre Police Department
• The Oglala Sioux Tribe-Department of Public Safety

Other agencies assisting: ATF, the Martin Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the DEA and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

If that impressive list seems like a lot of manpower to arrest thirteen, it is. But this is how modern law enforcement is done. In this case, it is partially justified because of the cross-culture and legal intricacies of police enforcement on an Indian reservation, but also because of the nature of the modern war on drugs. Agencies can be recruited to help when they have needed resources or when the investigation crosses state, or even national borders.

According to the FBI press release, “No further details regarding the cases will be available until the individuals have appeared in federal court. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and all the individuals named in the indictment are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.”

Possible sentences following a conviction on the federal charges range as high as $5 million in fines and 40 years in prison.


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