On July 27, South Dakota United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that two men and three women from Eagle Butte were indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Additionally, one of the individuals was also charged for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.
Previously, and indictment was levied against Kristina Rae Lofton 36; Robert “Blue” Lofton, Jr., 34; Stephanie Fawn Lofton 39; Tyler James Peterson 35; and Ashley Marie Peterson 33, on April 13, 2016. A Superseding Indictment was filed on July 19, 2016.
All five defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno and have pled not guilty to the charges.
In a separate indictment filed the same day, Duciana Eagle Chasing also of Eagle Butte was charged with three counts of distribution of meth on three separate occasions in May of this year. If convicted, Eagle Chasing is facing up to 20 years in prison along with a million dollar fine.
The first count of the four-count indictment alleges that Kristina Lofton knowingly and intentionally possessed with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth between March 1 2015 and July 19, 2016. If found guilty of the conspiracy charges, Lofton faces a minimum of 10 years with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Additionally she could be ordered to pay a $10,000,000 fine, or both.
The second count and fourth count of the indictment was brought against Robert Lofton.
The indictment states that he intentionally combined, conspired, and confederated with others to distribute more than 50 grams of meth. The fourth count asserts that around October 20, 2014 Lofton possessed a Glock .40 caliber handgun.
Lofton was previously convicted of a felony and was barred from legally possessing a firearm. If convicted, he is facing anywhere between five and forty years behind bars and/or a $5,000,000 fine.
Stephanie Lofton, and Tyler and Ashley Peterson each are facing up to 20 years in custody, a $1,000,000 fine, or both, and a minimum of three years up to life of supervised release.
The third count of the indictment alleges that the five named individuals knowingly and intentionally combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed to distribute meth in South Dakota between the dates March 1, 2014, and July 19, 2016.
Additionally, the six individuals are members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and if convicted, face banishment from the tribe under tribal resolution No. 9-2016-CR.
The investigation is being conducted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services Narcotics Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Kristina, Robert, and Stephanie Lofton, and Tyler Peterson were all remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. Ashley Peterson has been released on bond.
A jury trial has been set for August 16, 2016.