Skip to main content
Press Release

Mission Man Sentenced on Meth and Firearm Charges

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Mission, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, was sentenced on July 29, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Walter Willard Wright, age 37, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release for the conspiracy conviction. He was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for the firearm conviction. The sentences will be served concurrently.  Also, a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200 was ordered.

Wright was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 13, 2018.  He pled guilty on May 2, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy that occurred between October 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017, in which Wright and Co-Defendant Micole Menard, knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute between 1.5 kilograms and 5 kilograms of methamphetamine.  Further, on January 18, 2017, during the execution of a search warrant at the Wright’s home, 267 grams of methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia was seized from the home along with four firearms.  Wright, being a felon and unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance, did knowingly illegally possess those firearms.

Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity.  Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers.  It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

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

Updated July 30, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods