FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) — The attorney for a consultant facing drug charges in connection with a Native American tribe's failed effort to open the nation's first marijuana resort says the drug for the operation never belonged to this client.

Attorney Mike Butler is defending Eric Hagen, the CEO of the Colorado-based consulting firm Monarch America. Butler says he is unaware of any evidence showing that his client possessed "even a gram of marijuana."

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley filed three charges against Hagen on Aug. 3. Hagen pleaded not guilty Monday to conspiracy to possess, possession and attempt to possess more than 10 pounds of marijuana.

Butler says Jackley is proceeding under a "legal fiction" against Hagen.

Another consultant in the resort plan, Jonathan Hunt, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count Monday.

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