Coloradoan sentenced to 22 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute meth on Rosebud Indian Reservation

·2 min read

Jul. 26—PIERRE — A Colorado man will spend the next two decades in prison after making multiple deliveries of methamphetamine to South Dakota over the course of approximately five years.

Timothy Zuk, 49, of Denver, was sentenced July 20 to serve 22 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release in connection with a drug conspiracy that crossed state lines.

The charges stem from a period of time between at least January 2015 and August 2020, when Zuk was involved with several other individuals to distribute multiple pounds of methamphetamine and heroin in and around the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Over the course of at least five years, prosecutors in the case say Zuk served as the source of supply for several individuals that resided there.

As part of the conspiracy, those individuals would occasionally travel to Denver to receive methamphetamine from Zuk, while Zuk would occasionally travel to the reservation to deliver the drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Dakota said the overall conspiracy involved over 90,000 kilograms of converted drug weight. Converted drug weights do not represent the actual amount of narcotics that were distributed. Instead, the number is derived from a formula established by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) that aids judges in a sentencing determination by comparing the level of offense caused by the narcotic using marijuana as a standard.

Using the USSC's formula, 100 pounds of methamphetamine yields a converted drug weight of 90,720 kilograms, similar to the amount described in Zuk's case. It is unclear exactly how many pounds of which narcotics were actually distributed as part of the conspiracy.

Following an investigation conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Zuk was indicted for the conspiracy in August 2020. He pleaded guilty in April 2022.

After Zuk was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange, he was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office did not say whether any of his co-conspirators have been charged in the case.