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Press Release

Hot Springs Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Hot Springs, South Dakota, man  convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on October 25, 2021, by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Viken.

Nathan Bellew, age 40, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and $60 in restitution.

Bellew was indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance by a federal grand jury on July 23, 2020.  He pleaded guilty on May 28, 2021. During his involvement in the conspiracy, the defendant brought methamphetamine into the state through arrangements made by him with suppliers in other states.  Upon arrival in South Dakota, the defendant further dispersed the drugs to others for use and distribution in the Rapid City area.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

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 National Guard, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich prosecuted the case.

Bellew was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated November 3, 2021

Drug Trafficking