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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Five Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on the Cheyenne River Reservation and Possession of Firearm

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that two men and three women have been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance.  One of the men was also indicted for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

Those indicted on April 13, 2016, were:  Kristina Rae Lofton, a/k/a Kristina Rae Moran, age 36; Robert Earlwin Lofton, Jr., a/k/a Robert Erwin Lofton, Jr., age 34; Stephanie Fawn Lofton, a/k/a Stephanie Fawn Clark, age 39; Tyler James Peterson, age 35; and Ashley Marie Peterson, age 33, all from Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  A Superseding Indictment was filed on July 19, 2016.  All have appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno and have pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction for the charge against Kristina Lofton is not less than 10 years and up to life in custody, a $10,000,000 fine, or both, at least 5 years up to life of supervised release, $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and restitution.

The maximum penalty upon conviction for the charges against Robert Lofton is not less than 5 years nor more than 40 years in custody, a $5,000,000 fine, or both, at least 4 years up to life of supervised release, $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and restitution.

The maximum penalty upon conviction for the charge against Stephanie Lofton, and Tyler and Ashley Peterson is up to 20 years in custody, a $1,000,000 fine, or both, at least 3 years up to life of supervised release, $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and restitution.

All are subject to forfeiture of United States currency and weapons seized during the investigation. 

The charges are merely an accusation and all are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The Indictment alleges that between March 1, 2014, and July 19, 2016, Kristina Lofton, Robert Lofton, Stephanie Lofton, Tyler Peterson, and Ashley Peterson knowingly and intentionally combined, conspired, confederated and agreed with other persons to knowingly and intentionally distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in South Dakota. 

The Indictment specifically alleges that Kristina Lofton knowingly and intentionally possessed with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in South Dakota, and that Robert Lofton knowingly and intentionally possessed with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in South Dakota.  The Indictment further alleges that on or about October 20, 2014, Robert Lofton knowingly possessed a firearm, even though he was prohibited from doing so because he had previously been convicted of a felony, and was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.

The investigation is being conducted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services Narcotics Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney SaraBeth Donovan is prosecuting the case.   

Kristina, Robert, and Stephanie Lofton, and Tyler Peterson have been remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.  Ashley Peterson has been released on bond pending trial.  A jury trial has been set for August 16, 2016.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated July 27, 2016