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Press Release

Four Persons Charged with Drug Offenses

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

PIERRE - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal grand jury has indicted three individuals from North Dakota and an individual from Washington, DC for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance.

Abdul Vann, age 47, from Mandan, ND; Samuel Vann, age 21, from Washington, DC; Monica Yellow Bird, age 40, from Fort Yates, ND; and Kerstyn Lanz, age 30, from West Fargo, ND, were indicted in February of 2023. Samuel Vann  appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 27, 2023 and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment. Abdul Vann, Monica Yellow Bird, and Kerstyn Lanz all appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on March 1, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $20,000,000 fine,  lifetime of supervised release, and up to $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that beginning at an unknown time and continuing until February 14, 2023, in Lyman County, all four defendants knowingly and intentionally distributed and possessed with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, which is a Schedule II controlled substance.

The charges are merely accusations and Abdul Vann, Samuel Vann, Yellow Bird, and Lanz are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Drug Enforcement, and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.   

All four Defendants were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial, which has been set for May 9, 2023.



Updated March 3, 2023

Drug Trafficking