An El Salvador man is sentenced to life in prison for bringing fentanyl into South Dakota.

A federal judge handed down that sentence to 44-year-old Edwin Giovanni Salinas.

An associate, 33-year-old Berta Rosmelvi Gonzales, of Victorville, California was sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison.

Gonzales pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Salinas was found guilty at trial of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute.

In November of last year, the two were pulled over during a traffic stop in Roberts County. A search uncovered 16 pounds of fentanyl — both powder and pills. Estimated street value was $2,000,000.

The Court noted that this case involved the largest ever fentanyl seizure and prosecution in the state. It was investigated by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux’s Law Enforcement, Roberts County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The two were turned over to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.


November 20, 2023