We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Coloradoan sentenced to 22 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute meth on Rosebud Indian Reservation

As part of the conspiracy, individuals would occasionally travel to Denver to receive methamphetamine from Zuk, while Zuk would occasionally travel to the reservation to deliver the drugs.

Metro Creative photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

PIERRE — A Colorado man will spend the next two decades in prison after making multiple deliveries of methamphetamine to South Dakota over the course of approximately five years.

Timothy Zuk, 49, of Denver, was sentenced July 20 to serve 22 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release in connection with a drug conspiracy that crossed state lines.

The charges stem from a period of time between at least January 2015 and August 2020, when Zuk was involved with several other individuals to distribute multiple pounds of methamphetamine and heroin in and around the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Over the course of at least five years, prosecutors in the case say Zuk served as the source of supply for several individuals that resided there.

As part of the conspiracy, those individuals would occasionally travel to Denver to receive methamphetamine from Zuk, while Zuk would occasionally travel to the reservation to deliver the drugs.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota said the overall conspiracy involved over 90,000 kilograms of converted drug weight. Converted drug weights do not represent the actual amount of narcotics that were distributed. Instead, the number is derived from a formula established by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) that aids judges in a sentencing determination by comparing the level of offense caused by the narcotic using marijuana as a standard.

Using the USSC’s formula, 100 pounds of methamphetamine yields a converted drug weight of 90,720 kilograms, similar to the amount described in Zuk’s case. It is unclear exactly how many pounds of which narcotics were actually distributed as part of the conspiracy.

Following an investigation conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Zuk was indicted for the conspiracy in August 2020. He pleaded guilty in April 2022.

After Zuk was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange, he was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office did not say whether any of his co-conspirators have been charged in the case.

Latest news from Crime and Courts...
The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.
The facts of the case so far do not support Shannon Brandt’s claims that he and Cayler Ellingson argued about politics or that the teenager was calling for people to come after Brandt, North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind told The Forum on Thursday.
Prominent Republicans have tweeted about 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson's death, and some are questioning why Shannon Brandt was not charged with murder. Gov. Doug Burgum even issued a rare tweet about the case.
Doug Ramsey took on the COO's role at Beyond Meat in December 2021 after having served for three decades in various leadership roles at Tyson Foods Inc.
Hugh Wilson, 21, was sentenced to two years of adult supervised probation after leading cops on a 52-mile chase through four counties while having drugs in his vehicle.
The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation said after two officers observed a shotgun pointed out of a vehicle's window, they fired a dozen shots toward the car.
An investigation into the fire ruled out accidental causes, and the blaze was deemed suspicious.
Medical professionals on scene determined that the toddler had died before paramedics arrived.
First-degree murder, a Class A felony, carries a minimum sentence of life in prison, and enables prosecutors to seek the death penalty, if they choose such.
If convicted, Brave could be sentenced to serve the rest of his life in federal prison, as well as ordered to pay fines of up to $250,000.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What to read next
“Until we know we’re getting better quality of water coming in through Firesteel Creek, I think this would be useless. When we do vote on it, I will be voting no,” Councilman Dan Allen said.
Among the coalition pushing for South Dakotans to support Amendment D is a group of community health centers, which are key sources of basic medical and dental services for low-income South Dakotans. However, opponents of the measure say the promises of the expansion don't align with reality.
The bump out features that are set to be built on the Third Avenue and Main Street intersection could eliminate up to eight parking spots.
Marian Brooks, 35, of Sioux Falls, was charged after the incident early Monday morning.