A man involved in a Mobridge-area drug ring has pleaded guilty to two felonies in federal court.
Jose "Ivan" M. Garcia, of Mobridge, who was 25 when he was indicted in October, pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm while committing a violent crime and conspiracy to distribute/possession of with intent to distribute cocaine.
Garcia, who was brought to South Dakota to become a leader within a cocaine and methamphetamine distribution ring, according to court paperwork, will be sentenced Aug. 19.
On Dec. 23, 2011, Garcia hosted a party at his Mobridge residence at which cocaine was used, according to court documents. He also supervised and recruited others to distribute cocaine, according to the factual basis statement in his case.
In the days that followed, drugs were stolen from Garcia's trailer and he began an investigation to find out who took the drugs, according to court documents. The paperwork says that Garcia and another man drove to a residence in Wakpala and, when the door was opened, Garcia pulled out a gun. Two people were in the home and after one of the men slammed the door in Garcia's face, he and his counterpart drove away. As they did, shots were fired at the residence, according to the paperwork.
Later that day, four "suspects" were taken to the Wakpala Powwow Grounds where they were assaulted and had guns pointed at them, according to court paperwork in related cases. It also says the men were left at the grounds.
Garcia's drug charge is a felony punishable by as much as 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The use of a firearm during a crime of violence is a felony punishable by as much as life in prison and a $250,000 fine. It has a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison.
Marco Uribe recruited Garcia to help operate the drug ring, according to documents in the case. Uribe has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting kidnapping and brandishing a firearm while committing a violent crime. He will be sentenced Aug. 12.