Two Sioux Falls Women Sentenced for Their Roles in Multi-Pound Methamphetamine and Fentanyl Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced two Sioux Falls, South Dakota, women convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. The sentencings took place on October 30, 2023.
Kessara Mikkelson, 35, was sentenced to nineteen years and seven months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Asia Gunhammer. 31, was sentenced to ten years and six months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Mikkelson and Gunhammer were indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance by a federal grand jury in June of 2023. Mikkelson pleaded guilty on July 25, 2023, and Gunhammer pleaded guilty on July 20, 2023.
Mikkelson and Gunhammer were involved in a large-scale methamphetamine and fentanyl distribution network that originated out of California and made its way into South Dakota through shipments that were both mailed through FedEx and driven in semi-trailers. The source of supply for this organization, Terry Morris, Jr., who was also indicted as part of this conspiracy, was, and continues to be, incarcerated in a California state prison. He is set to be sentenced on November 13, 2023. Mikkelson was personally responsible for organizing and handling over 100 pounds of methamphetamine and 25,000 fentanyl pills during her involvement in this conspiracy. Gunhammer was one of the known sub-distributors for Mikkelson. The methamphetamine in this conspiracy was known to be sourced by the Mexican cartels.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Sioux Falls Police Department, and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case.
Mikkelson and Gunhammer were immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Updated November 2, 2023