Published August 3, 2016
FLANDREAU, SOUTH DAKOTA — Felony charges are expected to be brought against Eric Hagen today by the State of South Dakota for his role is assisting the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe last year in an attempt to grow and distribute marijuana on the reservation.
Hagen is president and CEO of Monarch America, based in Denver, Colorado.
Native News Online learned last Friday that Marty Jackley, South Dakota’s attorney general, had taken a case against Hagen to a grand jury to seek indictments in his role to assist the tribe.
Three charges are expected to be announced at a press conference at the Moody County Courthouse in Flandreau today against Hagen. They are: 1) conspiracy to possess more than 10lbs of marijuana; 2) attempt to possess more than 10lbs of marijuana and 3) possess 10lbs of marijuana.
This is case has implications for non-Native consultants who assist American Indian on tribal lands.
Hagen and Monarch America worked directly with the Flandreau Santee Sioux in the tribe’s efforts to open a cannabis-friendly resort. The Flandreau Santee Sioux sought to establish the resort based on the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2014 memorandum that allows for cannabis projects on tribal lands.
The Tribe had a multi-year agreement with Monarch America to assist the Tribe with the design, construction, and development of a 10,000 sq. ft. marijuana grow facility to supply a 15,000 sq. ft. on-site retail recreational marijuana consumption lounge with 10 lanes of bowling, arcade games, gaming machines, bar and food service, 5,000 sq. ft. outdoor patio and music venue in an existing structure adjacent to the Royal River Casino and Hotel in Flandreau, South Dakota.
The Tribe destroyed its crop after fears of a raid by anti-drup agents.
Jackley is rumored to exploring running for governor of South Dakota in 2018 and some view today’s measure as a politically motivated.