United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, woman convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering was sentenced on March 31, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.
Thiphavanh Noy Khaleck, age 29, was sentenced to 60 months in custody on the marijuana distribution conspiracy, and 70 months in custody on the money laundering conspiracy, to be served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release. She pled guilty to the offenses on October 7, 2013.
Khaleck was indicted with five others by a federal grand jury on April 2, 2013. Others indicted were: Thongsay Chantharath, age 41, of Worthington, Minnesota; Jimmy Thithavong, age 28, of Worthington; Jon Charles Batcheller, age 25, of Sioux Falls; Kenneth Louis Stanley, age 54, of Worthington; and David Soukthavong, age 27, of Sioux Falls. These five defendants were all sentenced in 2013.
Chantharath, Thithavong, Batcheller, and Stanley were all charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine; Batcheller, Khaleck, and Soukthavong were all charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana; and Batcheller and Khaleck were both charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Chantharath pled guilty to the methamphetamine conspiracy on August 19, 2013, and was sentenced on November 12, 2013, to 240 months in custody, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
Thithavong pled guilty to the methamphetamine conspiracy on July 19, 2013, and was sentenced on October 8, 2013, to 120 months in custody, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Batcheller pled guilty to the methamphetamine and money laundering conspiracies on July 10, 2013, and was sentenced on October 8, 2013, to 151 months on each count, to be served concurrently, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Stanley pled guilty to the methamphetamine conspiracy on July 8, 2013, and was sentenced on September 23, 2013, to 97 months in custody, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
Soukthavong pled guilty to the marijuana conspiracy on October 8, 2013, and was sentenced on December 30, 2013, to 30 months in custody, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
At different times during the 2009-2012 timeframe, the parties conspired together to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana. Some members made trips to California and Minnesota to purchase the drugs, and they and other members distributed them in the Sioux Falls area. Additionally, Batcheller and Khaleck conspired to commit money laundering by keeping the deposits and withdrawals of cash drug proceeds below $10,000, in an effort to avoid bank reporting requirements.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Haak prosecuted the case.