United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana and for distributing marijuana in South Dakota.
Abraham Romero, age 51, and Richard Marshall, age 44, both of Batesland, were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 23, 2011, for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana and Distribution of Marijuana. They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on September 20, 2011, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon each conviction of conspiracy is 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a $1,000,000 fine; the maximum penalty upon conviction of distribution is 5 years’ custody and/or a $1,000,000 fine. The charges are merely accusations, and Romero and Marshall are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman is prosecuting the case. Romero and Marshall were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal. A trial date has not yet been set.