Santee Sioux Trial Verdict: Cannabis Consultant Acquitted on All Charges

A South Dakota jury has reached a verdict in the case of a consultant who faced drug charges for helping an American Indian tribe that sought to develop a marijuana resort on tribal land.

The 12-member jury reached a verdict Wednesday in the trial of Eric Hagen, pictured above, who worked as consultant to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe on the project. Jurors deliberated for roughly two hours.

Hagen was accused of conspiracy to possess, possession by aiding and abetting and attempted possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana. His defense argued that Hagen and others were transparent with authorities and that the marijuana belonged to the tribe.

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.

Leafly correspondent Pat Radigan has been reporting from South Dakota on the Santee Sioux trial all week, and will have a full report on closing arguments and the verdict later today.


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