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2 plead guilty for trading meds for South Dakota casino points

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Two people pleaded guilty Monday, Oct. 7, to federal charges involving the sale of prescription medication to an employee at the Grand River Casino near Mobridge who made adjustments to their rewards points as payment.

Meinrad E. Medicine Jr., 58, and Carlene Cloke, 65, each pleaded guilty to felony distribution charges. Cloke admitted to selling hydrocodone on more than one occasion to Candace Crow Ghost between December 2016 and March 2017.

Medicine denied providing medication to Crow Ghost, according to court documents, but admitted he sent others to Crow Ghost and received points as a finder’s fee.

Hydrocodone is a prescription painkiller.

In selling the medication, Cloke admitted she traded the pills for an adjustment in her player’s points at the casino. Those points were then redeemed for cash.

Crow Ghost, who has also admitted to her role and is set for sentencing Nov. 18, worked as marketing director for the Mobridge casino, according to court documents. She had the ability to adjust points on individual player’s club rewards cards. She purchased both hydrocodone and oxycodone, also a prescription painkiller, according to the paperwork.

Investigators found that Crow Ghost purchased prescription pain medication from as many as 10 people and adjusted the points on their reward cards as payment.

Crow Ghost worked for the casino from October 2016 to March 2017. In that time, according to court documents, she improperly added 426,000 points valued at $4,260 and comped another $1,041 in meals and rooms.

Cloke received 30,000 points, valued at $300, and another $17.95 in comped rooms and meals, per the legal paperwork. Medicine received 133,000 points valued at $1,330 and another $103 in comped rooms and meals.

Both Medicine and Cloke were released on bond pending sentencing, which is set for Dec. 27. Pre-sentence investigations were ordered for both.

The maximum penalty for distribution of a controlled substance is 20 years in prison and an $1 million fine.