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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota
Alison J. Ramsdell, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, September 23, 2022

South Dakota Women Indicted for Meth and Firearm Charges

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that two South Dakota women have been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and Firearm charges.

Sarah Jahner Clifford, of Gettysburg, South Dakota, age 44, was indicted in September of 2022.  She appeared before Judge Mark A. Moreno on September 21, 2022, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

Tara Roberts, of Ridgeview, South Dakota, age 45, was indicted in September of 2022.  She appeared before Judge Mark A. Moreno on September 19, 2022, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in custody, and/or a $10,000,000 fine, lifetime of supervised release, and $400 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that the two women were involved in a conspiracy to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine in and around central South Dakota. The Indictment further alleges that Jahner-Clifford, who is a prohibited person, was illegally in possession of two firearms, including a short-barrel shotgun.

The charges are merely an accusation and Jahner-Clifford and Roberts are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The investigation is being conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case. 

Roberts was released on bond pending trial.  Jahner-Clifford was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  A trial date has been sent for November 15, 2022.


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