Sentencing handed-down for two Rapid City men on drug-related charges

RAPID CITY, S.D. — After pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, 33-year-old Jacob Lee Walton was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison and five years supervised release.

From an unknown date until about December 2019, Walton and co-conspirators agreed to distribute 500 or more grams of a methamphetamine-containing substance.

This case was investigated by Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

29-year-old Michael Kearney was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years supervised release after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

From January 2017 through March 2018, Kearney was involved in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He also possessed a firearm.

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was immediately remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Law enforcement says drug trafficking is an “inherently violent activity,” as traffickers arm themselves to protect product and cash.

Kearney’s case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program reinvigorated by the Department of Justice in 2017 that focuses on bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. U.S. Attorney’s Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News