Mission Residents Indicted on Methamphetamine and Firearm Charges
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that two Mission, South Dakota, individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.
Walter Willard Wright, age 36, and Micole Lynn Menard, age 36, were indicted on August 13, 2018. They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on August 31, 2018, and they both pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $10,000,000 fine, up to lifetime of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each Count. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on between October 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017, Wright and Menard knowingly and intentionally conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, in South Dakota. The Indictment further alleges that on January 18, 2017, Wright and Menard, being unlawful users of and addicted to a controlled substance, did knowingly possess multiple firearms. The charges are merely accusations and Wright and Menard are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity. Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers. It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The investigation is being conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.
Wright was released on bond, and Menard was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.
WE WANT TO THANK ALL THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE.