United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that Jerry Jerome Wise, age 36, of Moorhead, Minnesota, was found guilty on both counts of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on May 18, 2022.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine carries a maximum penalty of up to life in custody and/or a $10,000,000 fine, up to life of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The charge of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in custody and/or a $5,000,000 fine, up to life of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Wise was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 6, 2021, with his co-conspirator Damara Needham. Needham pled guilty to the same offenses on December 6, 2021, and was sentenced on March 7, 2022, to 121 months in custody and five years of supervised release, along with a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Beginning on an unknown date and continuing until on or about July 27, 2020, Wise and his co-conspirator obtained methamphetamine and fentanyl in Arizona and transported it through the District of South Dakota. On July 27, 2020, a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper stopped the vehicle they were driving and found approximately 655.3 grams of methamphetamine and over 700 fentanyl pills in the vehicle. They intended to distribute the methamphetamine and fentanyl to others.
This case was investigated by the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paige Petersen prosecuted the case.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for August 8, 2022. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.