The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe was cultivating marijuana on its reservation in South Dakota until crops were destroyed in November 2015. Photo: Eric Hagen
Business | Law

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana consultant 'free' after state sentence





A marijuana consultant who worked with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe on a failed marijuana operation was sentenced in South Dakota for his role in the controversial case.

Jonathan Hunt, 44, only had to pay a $500 fine and court costs after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess more than one-half pound but less than one pound of marijuana. There was no jail time imposed and the records of his case will now be sealed.

"I feel free," Hunt told The Associated Press. "I think the whole thing never should have happened."

Hunt was pursued by the state even though the activity for which he pleaded guilty occurred in Indian Country. Attorney General Marty Jackley, a Republican who served as a top federal prosecutor during the Bush administration, asserted jurisdiction over non-Indians on the reservation as part of the case.

“Jonathan Hunt has been sentenced for his role in the Flandreau marijuana grow case. A marijuana resort is a violation of both state and federal law that would create public health and safety issues across South Dakota,” Jackley said in a press release on Tuesday.

Jackley prosecuted a second non-Indian consultant for working with the tribe. Eric Hagen was found not guilty in May after a trial in state court.

The tribe has not said whether it will resurrect plans for the marijuana operation. All crops were destroyed in November 2015 out of fear of a raid by the federal government.

Read More on the Story:
Tribe's marijuana consultant pays fine, court costs (The Associated Press November 21, 2017)

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

Related Stories:
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (May 25, 2017)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis trial opens in South Dakota (May 18, 2017)
Brandon Ecoffey: Anti-Indian fighter lurks off radar in South Dakota (August 17, 2016)
Non-Indians enter pleas in Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana case (August 16, 2016)
Charges filed in Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe marijuana operation (August 3, 2016)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe refutes claims about marijuana crop (April 20, 2016)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe still pushing for marijuana resort (February 17, 2016)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe won't give up plan for marijuana (November 20, 2015)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe feared raid of marijuana resort (November 10, 2015)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe puts hold on marijuana resort (November 9, 2015)