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Non-Indians enter pleas in Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana case

Filed Under: Business | Law | National
More on: crime, fsst, jurisdiction, marijuana, marty jackley, south dakota
     
   

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was planning to open a marijuana resort in a building that housed the Royal River Family Entertainment Center in Flandreau, South Dakota. Image from Google Maps

Two non-Indians who helped the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe with a failed marijuana operation entered pleas in South Dakota state court on Monday.

Jonathan Hunt, 43, pleaded guilty to one count conspiracy to possess marijuana, the Associated Press reported. He served as vice president of Monarch America, the firm that was helping the tribe with the marijuana resort.

According to the complaint in State of South Dakota v. Hunt, Hunt planted marijuana on the reservation after seeds were received by the tribe from an overseas company.

The other defendant in the case is Eric Matthew Hagen, 34, who served as president of Monarch America. He pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess more than ten pounds of marijuana.

"I am yet unaware of any evidence, any evidence, that my client possessed even a gram of marijuana," attorney Mike Butler told the Associated Press outside of court on Monday.

The two non-Indians are the only people who have been charged in connection with the tribe's ambitious plan to grow and sell marijuana on the reservation. Although the activity occurred in Indian Country, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley claims he has jurisdiction to enforce the state's drug laws there.

The tribe burned all of its crops and canceled plans to open the resort on December 31, 2015, out of fear that federal authorities would raid the operation.

Read More on the Story:
Advisers charged in tribe’s marijuana resort enter pleas (AP 8/15)

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

Related Stories:
Charges filed in Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana operation (08/03)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe refutes claims about marijuana crop (04/20)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe still pushing for marijuana resort (02/17)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe won't give up plan for marijuana (11/20)
Hilary Bricken: DOJ sending mixed signals on tribal marijuana (11/17)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe feared raid of marijuana resort (11/10)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe puts hold on marijuana resort (11/9)
Kim Patterson: Tribe makes bad call with marijuana resort (11/04)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe eyes revenues from marijuana (10/21)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe shows pot facility to lawmakers (10/16)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe expects big crowd for pot kickoff (10/6)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe fully booked for launch of pot resort (10/5)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe reports strong interest in pot resort (10/1)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe prepares for first marijuana resort (9/29)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe offers tours of marijuana facility (09/15)
Tribes taking it slow when it comes to legalization of marijuana (09/08)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe getting ready to sell marijuana (08/05)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe claims DOJ support for marijuana (07/29)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe expects big profits on marijuana (07/16)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in talks with state on marijuana (07/15)
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Tribes urged to proceed with caution in new marijuana industry (07/08)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe shares details of marijuana grow (06/24)
South Dakota official claims non-Indians can't use marijuana (06/23)
Editorial: Marijuana won't benefit Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (06/22)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe to sell marijuana by end of year (06/17)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe moves forward with legal marijuana (06/16)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe issues statement on marijuana (05/13)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe to launch marijuana business (05/12)

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