United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Russell Thigh, age 38, of Lower Brule, South Dakota, appeared before United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange on April 12, 2012, and pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Substance – Diazepam/Valium. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 5 years in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both.
The charge arose from a September 27, 2010, incident in which Russell Thigh mistakenly called a wrong cell phone and attempted to sell Valium to the unknown woman that answered. The woman reported the call to the Fort Thompson Police Department, and the police used the information to conduct a sting. When the police met Thigh in the parking lot of the Lode Star Casino, they confiscated 77 Diazepam/Valium pills.
The investigation was conducted by the Fort Thompson Police Department and 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 July 2, 2012. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.