United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Daniel Gray Eagle, age 39, of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, was found guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute as a result of a three-day federal jury trial in Pierre, South Dakota.
The convictions carry a maximum sentence of at least 10 years up to life in federal prison, and/or a $10,000,000 fine, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
Gray Eagle was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 10, 2019, and a superseding indictment was filed on July 16, 2020.
The jury found that between January 1, 2017, and February 7, 2020, Gray Eagle knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine in South Dakota. Gray Eagle routinely traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota, to acquire methamphetamine, which he primarily distributed in Eagle Butte.
The jury also found Gray Eagle guilty of two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. The first count arose from a high-speed car chase with law enforcement in the southwest corner of the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation on January 22, 2018. During the chase, Gray Eagle instructed a passenger to throw a pill bottle containing 22 grams of methamphetamine out of the car. The methamphetamine was recovered, and Gray Eagle was taken into custody after crashing the car in a field. The second count arose from a foot pursuit and arrest of Gray Eagle on March 1, 2018, in Eagle Butte. After Gray Eagle was arrested on a tribal warrant, a search of his person revealed three baggies containing a small amount of methamphetamine in his pants pocket, as well as a cell phone containing drug-related messages.
This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, City of Faith Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Drug Enforcement, and the South Dakota National Guard. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.
A sentencing date was set for December 14, 2020. Gray Eagle was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.