Pine Ridge Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Meth Trafficking Conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on July 1, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Thomas Prado, age 57, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Prado was indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance by a federal grand jury on February 19, 2021.  He pleaded guilty to the indictment on March 25, 2022.  Prado was responsible for bringing between 1.5 and 5 kilograms of methamphetamine to South Dakota during his involvement in the conspiracy.  He obtained methamphetamine in California and shipped it to South Dakota via the U.S. Postal Service to post office boxes in Pine Ridge and Rushville, Nebraska.  On several occasions he also transported methamphetamine himself from California.  In South Dakota he dispersed the methamphetamine to others for use and distribution primarily in the Pine Ridge area.

This case was investigated by the Badlands Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement, Martin Police Department, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich prosecuted the case.

Prado was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.