Arizonans sentenced in South Dakota meth conspiracy

Federal prosecutors say methamphetamine was distributed in South Dakota, and that funds from the sales were concealed through a laundering scheme.

One of South Dakota's United States Federal Courthouses is located at the intersection of 14th Street and Phillips Avenue in Sioux Falls. Map data copyright of 2021 Google

SIOUX FALLS — Two Arizona residents were sentenced this week to federal prison in connection with a meth distribution ring in South Dakota, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday, April 11.

Sean Gross, 40, of Phoenix, was sentenced to 26 years and eight months in federal prison on Monday, while 41-year-old Brandie Rinnet, of Bullhead City, Arizona, was sentenced to serve one year and nine months.

The case stems from a December 2021 indictment by a federal grand jury, in which Gross, Rinnet and three others were charged in various federal jurisdictions in connection to a conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine in South Dakota and elsewhere.

As part of the scheme, Gross reached an agreement to provide methamphetamine to Christopher Daniels in South Dakota, sending it through the mail and delivering it in person, so Daniels could further distribute the methamphetamine throughout the state.

Daniels would then send the proceeds of his meth sales in South Dakota to Rinnet, in Arizona, who accepted and attempted to conceal these transactions on behalf of Gross.


Gross instructed Daniels, and others, on the manner in which they should wire the money for the purpose of concealing the fact that the money sent was acquired from the sale of methamphetamine and to avoid implicating Gross’ involvement. Gross had multiple conversations with Daniels and Rinnet regarding the movement of funds, prosecutors proved.

Daniels has already been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy.

Following more than a year of court proceedings, Gross pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Rinnet was only charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which she pleaded guilty to on Jan. 18.

Gross and Rinnet were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service after their conviction.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Postal Inspection Service, IRS Criminal Investigation team, Sioux Falls Police Department, Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, Moody County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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