DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 18, 2023
Alison J. Ramsdell
, United States Attorney

Mexico Man Sentenced as Part of a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

RAPID CITY, S.D. — U.S. Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken has sentenced a Sonora, Mexico, man convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The sentencing took place on August 11.

Miguel Armenta Rivas, 39, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Rivas was indicted for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance by a federal grand jury in August 2021. He pleaded guilty on April 13, 2022.

As part of his role within the drug trafficking organization, Rivas coordinated with other co-conspirators and would transport large quantities of methamphetamine from Arizona and other places outside of South Dakota into the Rapid City, South Dakota, area. Rivas also coordinated with others regarding the storage and distribution of the methamphetamine once it arrived in South Dakota. The conspiracy lasted more than a year’s time frame. In August 2021, agents conducted a search warrant of multiple locations in the Rapid City area tied to the conspiracy and located over 70 pounds of methamphetamine, multiple pounds of heroin and cocaine, as well as thousands of fentanyl pills, approximately $144,000 and 13 firearms. One co-conspirator, Noel Rivera, has also been sentenced. Rivera was sentenced in December 2022 to 17.5 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Another co-conspirator is awaiting trial.

This case was investigated by the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (UNET), the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 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. Attorney Gina Nelson prosecuted the case.

Rivas was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.


St. Paul Field Division