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Redby man sentenced to prison in meth transport case

BEMIDJI, Minn. - A Redby man will serve more than five years in prison 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 Monday in Beltrami County Court to 69 months in prison for felony second-degree drug sale.

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

Thunder pleaded guilty in July. He has been credited with 95 days time served in the Beltrami County Jail.

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

A pretrial hearing for Rodriguez is set for Sept. 16.

Dejesus-Zuniga pleaded guilty Aug. 11 to the first-degree conspiracy charge and giving a peace officer a false name. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 22.

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