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Leaders of Standing Rock drug ring get prison

ABERDEEN (AP) — Two leaders of a violent group that authorities said distributed methamphetamine and cocaine on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms.

Marco Uribe, 26, stuck the barrel of a handgun into the mouth of a kidnapping victim during one incident, and Jose Garcia, 26, once gave partygoers free cocaine in an attempt to recruit them into the Mobridge-based drug ring, authorities said.

Uribe earlier pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting kidnapping and a weapons charge, and was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen to nearly 18 years in prison, the American News reported. Prosecutors dismissed several other charges in return for the guilty plea. Uribe also was required to forfeit a 2003 Jaguar automobile, two pistols and a rifle.

Garcia earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy and weapons charges, and was sentenced this week to seven years behind bars.

Uribe moved from out of state to the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border "to sow misery" and "it's a wonder somebody wasn't killed," Judge Charles Kornmann said.

Authorities said in one incident that Uribe and others kidnapped suspected drug and cash thieves, took them to a powwow grounds and beat them. Another incident involved 10 shots being fired into an occupied home in Wakpala.

Authorities in court documents say Uribe paid for a plane ticket to fly Garcia from California to South Dakota to help with the drug ring, and the two lived in a mobile home in Mobridge. Kornmann said an unnamed male from Mexico, who has not been arrested, was likely the head of the drug ring, and that Uribe was probably second in command and Garcia third.

Eight people were charged in the ring, seven of whom have been sentenced. The eighth has pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced Oct. 7.