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Charges filed in Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana operation






South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced charges in connection with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe's marijuana operation on August 3, 2016. Photo from Twitter

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley made good on his threats to go after non-Indians for helping the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe with a failed marijuana project.

Two executives from a cannabis development company have been accused of violating state marijuana laws, Jackley announced on Tuesday. One person was indicted while the other was charged by complaint because he plans to plead guilty.

"Eric Matthew Hagen, 34, Sioux Falls, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess more than ten pounds of marijuana, class 3 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in the state penitentiary and/or $20,000 fine, one count of possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana, class 3 felony, punishable by up to 10 years and/or $20,000 and one count of attempted possession or more than ten pounds of marijuana, class 3 felony, punishable by up to 7.5 years in the state penitentiary and/or $15,000 fine," a press release from Jackley's office stated.

"In addition to the indictment, Jonathan Hunt, 43, Colorado, has been charged by complaint for conspiracy to possess marijuana charge in exchange for his cooperation and assistance to law enforcement. He is expected to plead to one count of conspiracy to possess more than one-half pound but less than one pound of marijuana, class 6 felony, punishable by up to 2 years in the state penitentiary and/or $4,000," the press release read. "Hunt is scheduled to enter a plea on August 15, 2016."

Hagen served as president and Hunt served as vice president of Monarch America, the firm that was helping the tribe with the operation. Jackley had repeatedly warned that non-Indians who engaged in marijuana activities could be prosecuted under state laws.

The firm also employed Robert Shepherd, the former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, in hopes of developing marijuana businesses in Indian Country.

Amid threats from federal and state officials, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe burned all of its crops and indefinitely delayed plans to open a marijuana resort on the reservation that would have been open to all patrons. The facility was supposed to open on December 31, 2015.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has posted documents from the case, State of South Dakota v. Hagen and State of South Dakota v. Hunt.

Read More on the Story:
Jackley charges two who helped Flandreau tribe grow marijuana (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 8/3)
2 Consultants Charged in South Dakota Tribal Pot Operation (AP 8/3)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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