US Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that three Hill City men and one Washington State man have been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute more than 500 Grams of Methamphetamine.
Hugo Arechiga-Torres, age 33, of Hill City; Wilbur Sainai Valdovinos-Gil, age 21, of Wapato, Washington; Tomas Torres, age 19, of Hill City; and Francisco Escobar-Tinjero, age 48, of Hill City, were indicted by a federal grand jury on April 3, 2012, for Conspiracy to Distribute more than 500 Grams of Methamphetamine. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, a $10 million fine, or both. The charge is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The indictment follows the execution of three federal and state search warrants on March 31, 2012, in Hill City, South Dakota.
The investigation is being conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force, and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team. Assistant US Attorney Ted McBride is prosecuting the case.
Arechiga-Torres, Escobar-Tinjero and Torres are in federal custody and will appear before US Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy in Rapid City next week. Valdovinos-Gil has not yet been arrested.