Advisers charged in tribe's marijuana resort enter pleas
FLANDREAU, S.D. — Two consultants who helped a Native American tribe plan the nation’s first marijuana resort entered opposing pleas Monday to drug offenses, with the attorney for the man who pleaded not guilty arguing outside of court that South Dakota’s top prosecutor is proceeding under a “legal fiction.”
Jonathan Hunt, who oversaw the first crop for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy count in the city of Flandreau, which is adjacent to the tribe’s reservation where the ambitious “adult playground” never took off. Eric Hagen, the CEO of the Colorado-based consulting firm Monarch America, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess, possession and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana.
The charges were filed Aug. 3, eight months after tribal leaders destroyed the marijuana crop, fearing a federal raid, and walking away from the headline-grabbing scheme that they estimated would have yielded up to $2 million in monthly profits.