DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 29, 2015
Randolph J. Seiler
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ace Crawford

Rapid City Man Sentenced to Life for Drug Conspiracy

Acting United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man convicted 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 was sentenced on May 27, 2015, by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court. The convictions were the result of an eight-day federal jury trial in Rapid City in December of 2014.

Luis Olivares, age 43, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release, and ordered to pay $600 in special assessments to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The convictions stem from a conspiracy led by Olivares, involving the recruitment of many other participants, including minors, to illegally distribute approximately 5 to 15 kilograms of methamphetamine in South Dakota and elsewhere. The conspiracy began in 2008 and concluded in late 2010 after Olivares and 15 others were indicted for various drug and firearms offenses.

While involved in this conspiracy, Olivares engaged law enforcement in a high-speed chase, which ended in him crashing his vehicle, which had approximately two pounds of methamphetamine inside. During the pursuit by law enforcement, Olivares threw a pound of methamphetamine out the car window. After the crash, he fled on foot and hid an additional pound of methamphetamine under a rock in a field.

Olivares has two previous drug felony convictions out of Colorado, which contributed to his enhanced sentence. All of the 15 co-defendants pleaded guilty to at least one federal felony offense. The methamphetamine that Olivares led the others in distributing was distributed primarily in Rapid City and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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.

Olivares was immediately returned to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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Field Division: St. Paul Field Division