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South Dakota Consultants Facing Drug Charges for Alleged Role in Cannabis Resort Scheme

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has charged two Monarch America consultants with drug crimes, stemming from their involvement with a Native American tribe to open a marijuana resort, according to a release from Jackley’s office.

Eric Hagen, Monarch America’s CEO, was indicted by a Moody County grand jury with conspiracy to possess, possession, and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of cannabis. Jonathan Hunt, the company’s vice-president and cultivation expert, faces charges of conspiracy to possess between a half-pound and pound of cannabis. Hunt’s lesser charges are in exchange for his cooperation with law enforcement, the release says.

According to a Fox News report, the duo acted as consultants to the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe, who planned “an adult playground” that they anticipated could see $2 million a month in revenue. Eight months ago the tribe abandoned the plan and burned their marijuana fields after Jackley warned that changes to tribal law permits regarding marijuana would not apply to non-tribal members.

It is alleged that Hunt ordered cannabis seeds from a Netherlands-based company that were mailed to the tribe’s offices sewn in shirts and hidden in CD cases. Authorities also say Hunt helped the tribe cultivate their plants. He is expected to plead guilty on Aug. 15. The conspiracy charge, a class 6 felony, is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.    

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