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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 9, 2018

Wichita Man Found Guilty of Meth Distribution Conspiracy

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Justin Thomas Morales, a/k/a “Speedy,” age 37, of Wichita, Kansas, was found guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota which began on February 5, 2018. The verdict was returned February 7, 2018.

Because Morales has a prior felony drug conviction, the conspiracy charge, involving over 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years and a maximum of life in custody, and/or a $20 million fine, mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Morales was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 9, 2016, and a superseding indictment was filed January 19, 2017.

On September 22, 2016, Morales and Chase Guzman had traveled from Wichita, Kansas, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with approximately two pounds of methamphetamine and three pounds of marijuana to distribute in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area.

While conducting surveillance, members of the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force observed Morales and Guzman go inside a residence off West 12th Street in Sioux Falls and come out a short time later. Morales and Guzman drove away and were stopped by South Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers. There was a pound of marijuana in the vehicle. Guzman was found to be in possession of a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol and an ounce of methamphetamine.

The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force searched the residence off West 12th Street and found approximately two pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of marijuana. Present at the residence was Daniel Guzman, who had a half-ounce of methamphetamine in his possession.

Morales, Chase Guzman, and Daniel Guzman were all indicted. The Guzmans both pled guilty. Daniel Guzman was sentenced to 120 months in custody to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Chase Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced on February 26, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Deputy Criminal Chief John E. Haak prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for April 30, 2018. Morales was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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Updated February 9, 2018