One criminal case is closed, but it doesn’t mean the fight is over when it comes to drugs in South Dakota. A meth bust from almost two years ago ends with prison for three suspects.

Citing a pledge from the United States Department of Justice in preventing violent crime, reducing drug trafficking and deaths from drug overdose, U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons casts no illusions upon what the federal government is trying to do.

“As part of our efforts in these areas, we are committed to holding drug dealers directly accountable for the injuries and death that they cause. (We are) prosecuting those dealers under a federal statute for a mandatory 20-year prison term for anyone who illegally sells, distributes or diverts a controlled substance that results in someone overdosing.”

Parsons notes the urgency of this campaign because meth is extremely addictive and the product shipped to South Dakota is of high concentration.

“The methamphetamine that is present in South Dakota is extremely potent and high in purity. Drug enforcement agency experts say that this methamphetamine was manufactured in highly specialized criminal laboratories located in Mexico and transported across the southern border of the United States.”

Faces and names are now attached to this drive associated with a drug bust that concluded with a sentencing of 36-year old Justin Morales of Wichita, Kansas on Friday evening to 30 years in prison along with 10 years of supervised release.

Morales and two co-conspirators, Chase and Daniel Guzman, were arrested in September 2016 after an informant relayed to police that Morales wanted to use a rental property in western Sioux Falls to store 20 pounds of meth. At the time of the arrest, three pounds of meth and a gun were seized. Both Guzmans pleaded guilty and will also spend time in prison.

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