White River Woman Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a White River, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.
Andrea Ruth Barrera, age 32, was indicted on July 16, 2019. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on July 19, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 40 years in federal prison and/or a $5,000,000 fine, a lifetime of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that at some time before September 1, 2018, and continuing until July 16, 2019, Barrera, knowingly and intentionally, combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Further, a traffic stop was conducted on March 5, 2019, wherein over $12,000 in U.S. currency, forty-one rounds of .380 AUTO caliber ammunition, and a .380 AUTO caliber, semi-automatic pistol were located in a vehicle with Barrera. The Indictment alleges that Barrera knowingly possessed the pistol while being a convicted felon.
The charges are merely accusations and Barrera is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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 the Department’s 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 the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The investigation is being conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook is prosecuting the case.
Barrera was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.