For Immediate Release
Rapid City Man Convicted of Drug Conspiracy
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Luis Olivares, age 42, of Rapid City, South Dakota, was found guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of Firearms During a Drug Trafficking Crime, Felon and Fugitive in Possession of Firearms, Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute, and Distribution of Methamphetamine. The federal jury returned the guilty verdict on December 10, 2014, at the conclusion of an eight-day jury trial in Rapid City.
The charges carry a 20-year minimum mandatory and up to life in custody and/or a $20,000,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. There is a pending motion, filed by the United States, that may result in mandatory life imprisonment.
The conviction stems from Olivares recruiting others to illegally distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in South Dakota and elsewhere dating back to 2008. Olivares distributed this substance with his co-conspirators in Rapid City and western South Dakota. Previous felony convictions prohibit Olivares from possessing firearms. However, on more than one occasion, Olivares was in possession of firearms while dealing drugs.
A turning point in the case came when Olivares crashed his vehicle while attempting to elude law enforcement though a high-speed chase. Once he crashed and was apprehended, several packages of methamphetamine were found inside the vehicle.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn N. Rich and Jay Miller prosecuted the case.
A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.