Leader of local drug organization sentenced to 30 years


Date: November 17, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

SIOUX FALLS — United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that a Trent, South Dakota, man convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments was sentenced on November 14, 2022, by District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Christopher Daniels was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Daniels was indicted for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to launder monetary Instruments by a federal grand jury in December of 2021. He pleaded guilty on July 21, 2022. This is Daniels' third time serving a federal sentence for drug distribution.

Beginning on an unknown date and continuing until on or about December of 2021, Daniels, along with at least 14 other co-conspirators, knowingly and intentionally combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed together, to knowingly and intentionally distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, within Sioux Falls and many surrounding small communities. The investigation into this drug trafficking organization shows it was responsible for bringing in more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine to the Sioux Falls area. The direct source of supply for this methamphetamine was located in Arizona, and ultimately, Mexico. Targets in both Arizona and Louisiana have also been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota.

Christopher Daniels led the South Dakota cell of this organization. Daniels obtained multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine from his source in Arizona both through the mail, as well as by vehicle deliveries to South Dakota. Daniels then distributed the methamphetamine to others who resold it. Daniels also directed others in the handling of proceeds from the organization's drug distribution activities. The funds involved in the money laundering were sent by wire to people associated with the drug source in Arizona.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Sioux Falls Police Department, Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office, Moody County Sheriff's Office, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case.

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