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California man, 61, sentenced to federal prison after plan to distribute meth to SD reservations busted

After Molica was indicted by a federal grand jury in August, he pleaded guilty to the charge on March 11.

Figures from law enforcement and addiction treatment specialists in North Dakota and Minnesota show that meth remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region, with popularity levels surpassing those seen in the early 2000s.
Figures from law enforcement and addiction treatment specialists in North Dakota and Minnesota show that meth remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region, with popularity levels surpassing those seen in the early 2000s.
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PIERRE — A California man has been sentenced to serve time in a federal prison after authorities say he intended to distribute 90 grams of meth on two South Dakota reservations.

Lee Molica, 61, of Bakersfield, California, was sentenced Monday to 90 months in federal prison plus four years on supervised release after he was convicted on one count of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and make a special assessment of $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The conviction stems from a May 2021 traffic stop in Buffalo County, when law enforcement discovered two plastic baggies containing roughly 90 grams of methamphetamine, which Molica intended to distribute throughout the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations.

After Molica was indicted by a federal grand jury in August, he pleaded guilty to the charge on March 11.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern Plans Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force.

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Following his sentencing, Molica was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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