United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Eric Paul Red Bird, Sr., age 31, of Eagle Butte, appeared before United States District Judge Mark A. Moreno on March 14, 2012, and pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 5 years in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both.
On July 12, 2010, Eric Paul Red Bird, Sr., was driving a car that collided with a second vehicle on SD Highway 212 in Eagle Butte. Officers from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Police Department responded and arrested Red Bird for driving while under the influence. A pat down search of Red Bird at the time of his arrest revealed marijuana, and he was transported to jail. At the jail, more marijuana was found on Red Bird. An inventory search of Red Bird's car revealed over 1.5 ounces of additional marijuana, a .12 gauge shotgun, and eight boxes of shotgun shells.
The investigation was conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Miller.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for May 9, 2012. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.