Man sentenced for drug trafficking following $2.5 million drug bust in Pennington County
RAPID CITY, S.D. – 44-year-old Noel Rivera of Obregon, Mexico, was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine from Arizona to the Rapid City area.
In a conspiracy that ran for more than a year, Rivera coordinated with others to transport, store and distribute methamphetamine and other drugs in South Dakota. This ended in August of 2021 when agents conducted a search warrant of multiple locations in the Rapid City area and located over 70 pounds of methamphetamine, worth up to $2.5 million.
Also found were several pounds of heroin and cocaine, as well as thousands of fentanyl pills, around $144,000, and thirteen firearms.
One co-conspirator has pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and is awaiting sentencing. The second co-conspirator is awaiting trial.
This case was investigated by the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET), Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. UNET is comprised of law enforcement from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the South Dakota National Guard.