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Wisconsin man pleads guilty to drug distribution after 2021 traffic stop uncovered 74 pounds of marijuana

The charges stem from a Sept. 17, 2021, traffic stop, when a trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol stopped Flores on Interstate 90 for driving 84 mph in an 80 mph zone.

Hanson County Courthouse.jpg
The Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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ALEXANDRIA, S.D. — A Wisconsin man who was transporting 74 pounds of marijuana through South Dakota is facing up to 15 years in the state’s prison system after pleading guilty to a drug distribution charge.

In a Wednesday plea entry at the Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria, Jeffrey Flores, 33, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than one pound of marijuana.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed counts of possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charges stem from a Sept. 17, 2021, traffic stop, when a trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol stopped Flores on Interstate 90 for driving 84 mph in an 80 mph zone.

Troopers believed there may have been drugs in the vehicle and deployed a police service dog to conduct a sniff search. When the service dog indicated the presence of drugs, police conducted a full search of the vehicle.

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Court documents say the search resulted in the seizure of 74 pounds of marijuana, four THC edibles and 1.7 grams of cocaine. Cash in the amount of $989 was also confiscated as part of the search and later forfeited to the state after Flores failed to dispute the seizure.

Possession with the intent to distribute over one pound of marijuana is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison plus a $30,000 fine.

Judge Chris Giles ordered a pre-sentence report be compiled by the state ahead of an Aug. 17 sentencing hearing.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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