Jury Weighs Case Of Tribe’s Marijuana Consultant

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota jury is weighing the case of a man who faces drug charges for helping an American Indian tribe that sought to develop a marijuana resort.

Closing arguments took place Wednesday morning in the trial of Eric Hagen, who worked as consultant to the Flandreau Santee Sioux on the project.

The tribe pursued the resort in 2015 after the Justice Department cleared the way for tribes to grow and sell marijuana under the same conditions as states that legalized pot. But the tribe eventually burned its crop.

Assistant Attorney General Bridget Mayer asked the jury to find Hagen guilty of conspiracy to possess, possession by aiding and abetting and attempted possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana.

Defense attorney Mike Butler says Hagen and others were transparent with authorities about the project and that the marijuana belonged to the tribe.

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