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Four Individuals Sentenced in Yankton Drug Case

Four Individuals Sentenced in Yankton Drug Case

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Larry Long said today that four more individuals were sentenced on drug charges stemming from an undercover drug investigation that was conducted in Yankton in 2004 resulting in charges against more than 20 people.

Those sentenced by Circuit Judge Glen Eng yesterday include:

• Valentino M. LaPonte, 39, Aberdeen, distribution of cocaine, sentenced to eight years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary with four years suspended.

• David M. Cassanova, 24, Yankton, distribution of one ounce or less of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine, sentenced to five years in the state penitentiary, all but 90 days suspended, and five years probation.

• Kristen K. Jensen, 25, Yankton, first degree petty theft, sentenced to 12 months in the Yankton County Jail, with ten months suspended, and two years probation.

• Ryan R. Bloch, 21, Yankton, distribution of one ounce or less of marijuana, suspended imposition of sentence, three years probation, $500 fine, and 45 days in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Two other defendants appeared in court on drug offenses. 

• Robbie W. Harris, 24, Yankton, pled guilty to aiding and abetting possession of psilocybin mushrooms, a class 4 felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

• Billy Ziegler, 21, Yankton, pled not guilty to possession and distribution of marijuana, distribution of marijuana in a drug free zone, possession of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine in a drug free zone. A jury trial on those charges is scheduled for June 13 in Yankton.

All of the drug cases were investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Yankton Police Department and the Yankton County Sheriff’s Office. The cases are being prosecuted by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.