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Justice News

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced For Conspiracy To Distribute And Possess With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Substance

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Blossburg, Pennsylvania, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on November 6, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange. 
Michael Pearlingi, age 44, was sentenced to 13 months of imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Pearlingi was indicted for the above charge by a federal grand jury on April 2, 2013.  He pled guilty on August 27, 2013. 

The conviction stems from an incident on March 14, 2013, when a South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper spoke with occupants of a motor home, including Pearlingi, when they stopped for fuel.  The trooper’s suspicions were heightened during the conversations, and he deployed his narcotics detection dog.  The dog indicated to the odor of illegal drugs in the motor home.

The trooper searched the motor home and found large garbage bags containing marijuana, packaged in approximately one-pound bundles. There was also 673 grams of hashish oil and a smaller amount of personal use marijuana in the motor home. The total amount of marijuana found was approximately 113 pounds.

The investigation was conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and South Dakota Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich prosecuted the case.

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

Updated June 22, 2015