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Redby man gets five years for meth transport

Joseph Jacob "Jake" Thunder III

BEMIDJI -- A Redby man was convicted Monday in Beltrami County Court for conspiring to transport 43 grams of methamphetamine from the Twin Cities to the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Joseph Jacob Thunder III, 47, of Redby, was sentenced for felony second-degree drug sale to 69 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

Thunder was arrested on U.S. Highway 71 south of Bemidji on May 23. Alex "Sparky" Dejesus-Zuniga, 18, and Delisha Rae Rodriguez, 25, both of Richfield were also arrested at that time. According to court documents, Thunder was offered one gram of methamphetamine if he would drive Dejesus-Zuniga and Rodriguez to Red Lake.

Thunder plead not guilty to the charge in June and amended his plea to guilty in July. He has been credited with 95 days time served in the Beltrami County Jail. Thunder must pay a $50 fine as part of his sentence.

All three individuals were originally charged with felony first-degree conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine.

A pre-trial hearing for Rodriguez is set for Sept. 16. She plead not guilty felony first-degree drug sale in July. Dejesus-Zuniga amended a not guilty plea on first-degree drug sale and giving a peace officer a false name charges Aug. 11. He is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 22.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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