Rapid City man caught in meth bust pleads guilty to drug, gun charges

Faces 10-to-life for conspiracy to distribute
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 12:52 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A man loaded with a wealth of drugs and guns admitted his involvement in a Colorado-based plot to distribute meth throughout the Rapid City area.

Klaus Anderst of Rapid City pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person before federal court on Wednesday.

According to a factual basis statement, Klaus Anderst and Megan Smith, an accomplice, worked together to sell large amounts of methamphetamine after initially obtaining small amounts of the drug for personal use.

The duo obtained at least 500 grams of substances containing methamphetamine from a source in Denver that they intended to distribute between Nov. 2018 and March 2020. Anderst and Smith often sold up to one-ounce quantities to local dealers in Rapid City and other locations.

The two accepted payments in the form of cash and firearms for the meth, which they used to pay off their Colorado distributor.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office eventually learned Anderst and Smith were staying at hotels around Rapid City. Deputies located their vehicles at Mainstay Suites in Rapid City and arrested them on March 13, 2020. Anderst was wanted for four warrants on drug and firearms-related offenses.

A search of their hotel room and vehicles uncovered the following guns and paraphernalia:

  • 1 9mm semi-automatic pistol
  • 1 .45 Auto caliber pistol
  • 1 .357 magnum revolver
  • 1 .410 gauge shotgun
  • 1 .300 bolt-action rifle
  • 1 .22 semi-automatic pistol
  • 1 .22 semi-automatic rifle
  • a scale
  • 103 grams of methamphetamine
  • heroin, MDMA, marijuana and miscellaneous drugs in unspecified quantities
  • $9,000 in cash

Additionally, a serial number check on the firearms found that the .45 Auto caliber pistol and the .410 gauge shotgun were stolen. The shotgun had been modified and a registered owner could not be determined. Furthermore, authorities learned Anderst and Smith did not have any firearms registered to them.

The statement includes that Anderst also had two Ziploc baggies with a small amount of methamphetamine on his person, contributing to the 103-gram total.

The document states he actively used around half a gram of methamphetamine daily and had abused the drug for months before his arrest.

Anderst faces 10 years-to-life in prison for conspiracy to distribute and up to 10 years in prison for the firearms charge. It will be decided whether he will serve those sentences concurrently at a later date.

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