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Federal court case round-up from the U.S. Department of Justice for the District of South Dakota

The U.S. DOJ released three cases on Oct. 11, 2022.

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SIOUX FALLS — The United States Attorney's Office for the District of South Dakota has released three federal offense cases this week.

— Lisa Merrigan, 54 of Yankton, was indicted by a federal grand jury for two counts of Tampering with Consumer Products and two counts of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Misrepresentation, Fraud, Forgery, Deception and Subterfuge.

The indictment comes after Merrigan, who was working as a registered nurse in a hospital, allegedly tampered with vials of fentanyl citrate for injection by removing the substance and replacing it with another liquid, knowing that the diluted fentayl citrate could be dispensed to patients at the hospital.

The indictment also alleges that on August 23, 2021 and September 7, 2021, Merrigan knowingly and intentionally obtained fentanyl citrate for injections in a fraudulent manner.

An investigation will be conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

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Merrigan was released on bond pending her trial. A trial date has not yet been set.

— Jayden Guenther, 20 of Sioux Falls, was sentenced to 10 years of probation after being convicted of two counts of Making False Statements in Connection with the Purchases of Firearms.

The conviction comes after his indictment by a federal grand jury in March of 2022, and his entrance of a guilty plea in July 27, 2022.

The conviction stemmed from incidents in May 2021 and again in August 2021 when Guenther paid two individuals to purchase two new Glock 9mm handguns for him as he was not old enough to purchase them himself.

— Cody Carstensen, 46 of Wakonda, was indicted in October 2022 after being charged with one count of Theft in Connection with Health Care and three counts of Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Misrepresentation, Fraud, Forgery, Deception, and Subterfuge.

Count one of the indictment comes after Carstensen allegedly knowingling and willfully embezzled, stole, and converted — without permission from the rightful owner — hydrocodone, oxymorphone, oxycontin, oxycodone and morphine valued at more than $100 between June 2019 and February 2022.

The second count alleged that, between July 2020 and May 2021, Carstensen obtained hydrocodone by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge.

The third count of the indictment alleged that, between April 2020 and December 2021, Carstensen obtained oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, knowingly and fraudulently.

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The charges, upon conviction, carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $400 to the Federal Crim Victims Fund.

An investigation will be conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Carstensen entered a plea of not guilty and was released on bond pending his trial, which has been set for December 13, 2022.

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