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Seven South Dakotans charged in meth conspiracy


This news story was published on April 17, 2014.
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justice1MINNEAPOLIS – United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a second group of individuals from Wagner, South Dakota, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and maintaining a drug-involved premises. The first group was indicted in December 2013 and included five people.

Helen Ann Archambeau, age 55; Desmond Basil Heth, age 35; Cindy Lynn Schunk, age 37; Natasha Ann Archambeau, age 32; Mona Fay Winckler, age 58; Leslie Lee French, 31; and Brenda Evette Alonzi, age 53, were indicted on March 5, 2014, for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Additionally, Helen Archambeau and Winckler were also indicted for maintaining a drug-involved premises.

All defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Simko on various dates in March and April and pled not guilty to the indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is up to 20 years in custody and/or a $1 million fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered. The maximum penalty upon conviction of maintaining a drug-involved premises is up to 20 years in custody and/or a $500,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges are merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer D. Mammenga is prosecuting the case.

All parties except for French have been released on bond. French is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. The trial has been set to commence on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

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