News and Press Releases

Twelve Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking in Bennett County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney
605-357-2360

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced today that 12 individuals have been charged in separate indictments by a federal grand jury for drug distribution offenses alleged to have occurred in Bennett County at various times from January through June 2012.  The charges are a result of Operation Prairie Pharm, a controlled substances investigation conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, whose member agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Pierre Police Department, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe – Department of Public Safety (OST-DPS). 

The individuals charged include the following:

**        Claudia Jeanine Apple, 45, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing methylphenidate within 1,000 feet of the Oglala Lakota College in January 2012 and one count of distributing hydrocodone with acetaminophen within 1,000 feet of the Bennett County High School in January 2012.

If convicted, of distributing methylphenidate, Apple faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.

If convicted, of distributing hydrocodone with acetaminophen, Apple faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

**        William Lawrence Apple, 25, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing morphine and one count of distributing oxycodone.  Both distributions are alleged to have occurred within 1,000 feet of the Martin Grade School in January 2012.

If convicted, Apple faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Ashley Jerome Cottier, 35, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing Fentanyl within 1,000 feet of the Martin Grade School in June 2012. 

If convicted, Cottier faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Jimmy Joe Cottier, 26, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing marijuana in February 2012. 

If convicted, Cottier faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

**        Belinda Joyce Dubray, 43, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing hydrocodone with acetaminophen within 1,000 feet of the Bennett County High School in March 2012.

If convicted, Dubray faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Brian Leroy Dubray, Jr., 30, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing marijuana in April 2012. 

If convicted, Dubray faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

**        Monica Rae Dubray, 40, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing morphine within 1,000 feet of the Oglala Lakota College Head Start in April 2012. 

If convicted, Dubray faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Tillie Dawn Dubray, 42, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing morphine within 1,000 feet of the Oglala Lakota College Head Start in January 2012. 

If convicted, Dubray faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

**        David Alan Gotheridge, 54, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing hydrocodone with acetaminophen within 1,000 feet of the Martin Grade School in April 2012. 

If convicted, Gotheridge faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Renee Lynn Mousseaux, 42, of Martin – charged with one count of distributing marijuana in January 2012. 

If convicted, Mousseaux faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

**        Michael James Poor Thunder, 22, of Martin – charged with two counts of distributing morphine within 1,000 feet of Oglala Lakota College in March and May of 2012. 

If convicted, Poor Thunder faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment on each count, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.

**        Alex Lee Salway, 53, of Martin – charged with two counts of distributing morphine within 1,000 feet of the Martin Grade School in January 2012. 

If convicted, Salway faces a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment on each count, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.

"Operation Prairie Pharm is a reflection of the tremendous cooperation that exists between federal, tribal, and state law enforcement officers," US Attorney Johnson said.  "This investigation should serve as a notice to anyone involved in illegal drug trafficking in our state.  We are watching.  And we will continue our efforts to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these offenses.”

No further details regarding the cases will be available until the individuals have appeared in federal court.  The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and all of the individuals named in the indictments are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. 

In addition to officers and agents serving with the OST-DPS and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Task Force, other law enforcement agencies which have assisted in the investigation and arrests include the United States Marshal’s Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the South Dakota National Guard, the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Bennett County Sheriff’s Office, and the Martin Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ted McBride.       

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