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3 SD men, a Wash. man indicted in methamphetamine conspiracy

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A Washington state man and three men from Hill City, S.D., were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more than a pound of methamphetamine.

The case resulted from an investigation by the following law enforcement agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force, and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team.

This indictment follows the March 31 execution of three federal and state search warrants in Hill City.

Wilbur Sainai Valdovinos-Gil, 21, of Wapato, Wash.; and Hugo Arechiga-Torres, 33, Tomas Torres, 19, and Francisco Escobar-Tinjero, 48, all from Hill City, were indicted in federal court April 3 for conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, a $10 million fine, or both. The charge is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Arechiga-Torres, Torres and Escobar-Tinjero are in federal custody and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy in Rapid City next week. Valdovinos-Gil has not yet been arrested.