United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Las Vegas, Nevada, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine was sentenced on March 18, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.
Jesse Stewart, age 47, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Stewart was indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine by a federal grand jury in January 2020. He pleaded guilty on December 10, 2021.
In September 2019, law enforcement became aware of a group of people distributing methamphetamine in the Rapid City, South Dakota area, led by Edward Martin. Through the investigation, law enforcement confirmed a methamphetamine source for the conspiracy in Las Vegas, Nevada. Between the summer of 2019 and December 2019, at least five to 15 kilograms of methamphetamine was sent to Rapid City. Stewart sold the methamphetamine in Rapid City and arranged for Martin to come and expand those efforts. Co-conspirators in Rapid City and Las Vegas tracked mailed packages of methamphetamine and also received money wire transfers paying for the shipped methamphetamine. On December 19, 2019, law enforcement searched Martin’s hotel room and located Stewart, eight ounces of methamphetamine, a firearm, $5,066 cash, and other items indicative of drug distribution.
Edward Martin, Sara Skinner, Carmen Dillon, Keeler Stands, Melanie Vance, Tyler Olson, Christopher James, and Kirbesha Bailey have all previously been sentenced for their roles in this same conspiracy.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Postal Inspector, and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET). UNET is comprised of law enforcement from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the South Dakota National Guard. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn N. Rich and Eric Kelderman prosecuted the case.
Stewart was immediately returned to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.