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Press Release

Colorado Man Sentenced for Distributing a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced an Aurora, Colorado, man convicted of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance.

Anthony Ward, age 39, was sentenced on May 17, 2024, to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200.

A co-conspirator, Darnell Young, was sentenced to 17 years and six months in federal prison on October 24, 2023.

Both defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in the spring of 2023. Anthony Ward was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance resulting in serious bodily injury and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance following a four-day federal jury trial in Rapid City, South Dakota, that concluded on February 26, 2024.

The convictions stem from an investigation into Ward that started in the spring of 2022. Investigators eventually stopped a vehicle that Ward was traveling in and found approximately 150 fentanyl pills, $2,859.00 in cash, and a handgun in a bag in the trunk of the vehicle. Through the investigation, law enforcement learned that Ward was responsible for sourcing thousands of fentanyl pills from Denver to Rapid City. They also learned that he sourced a fentanyl pill that was eventually distributed to someone in Rapid City who smoked the pill and overdosed. Another person present at the scene was able to revive the victim with Narcan. Ward also received a sentencing enhancement for lying under oath during his trial.   

This case was investigated by the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET), Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. UNET is comprised of law enforcement from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the South Dakota National Guard.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case.

Ward was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated May 23, 2024

Drug Trafficking