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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Rapid City Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man who pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine was sentenced on June 15, 2020, by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Viken.

Christopher Yellow Eagle, age 40, was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison.  Yellow Eagle was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 22, 2017.  He pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine on December 18, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy beginning around the summer of 2014.  Yellow Eagle obtained methamphetamine from multiple sources that he then distributed in Rapid City, Kyle, and Wanblee, South Dakota.  In total, Yellow Eagle distributed between 1.5 to 5 kilograms of methamphetamine.  Yellow Eagle frequently possessed firearms during his drug dealing activities.  On August 24, 2017, Yellow Eagle was arrested after fleeing from law enforcement.  Because he has prior felony convictions for drug distribution offenses, Yellow Eagle was deemed a “career offender.”    

“This defendant was a major methamphetamine dealer both in Rapid City and the Pine Ridge Reservation for years,” said U.S. Attorney Parsons.  “The Badlands Task Force is a model of true inter-governmental, law enforcement teamwork and all of its officers should be congratulated on this historic arrest, conviction, and sentence.”

This case was investigated by the Badlands Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Badlands Task Force has agency members from the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich prosecuted the case. 

Yellow Eagle was immediately returned to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 18, 2020