Tyler Joseph Keup, 29, of North Platte was charged Thursday in a two-count federal indictment for distribution of methamphetamine.Count I alleges that beginning on or about Oct. 1 and continuing until Nov. 25, Keup conspired with others to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five grams or more of actual methamphetamine.
Count II alleges that on or about Nov. 2, Keup possessed with intent to distribute five grams or more of actual methamphetamine.
Each charge carries a minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 40 years, so if convicted, Keup faces a maximum sentence of 80 years. In addition, $10 million in fines could be levied against him.
U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced 26 grand jury indictments, charging 30 defendants.
Indictments are charging documents that contain one or more individual counts that are merely accusations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, she said.
Keup is currently in the Lincoln County Jail. He was arrested during a traffic stop Nov. 11.
He pled not guilty Feb. 11 to several charges – possession of adderall, two counts of distributing methamphetamine and possession of a deadly weapon by a restricted person.
Keup served 10 years in the state penitentiary for manslaughter in the shooting of an 18-year-old North Platte girl in 2000 with a .25-caliber semi-automatic that he had bought for $78.
His case attracted widespread attention.
He was 16 at the time and maintained it was an accident. As a prisoner, Keup was influential in efforts to modify life sentences for teenage criminals.
He became an artist and won honors at both the Nebraska State Fair as well as the 2012 Nebraskaland Days art show.
In prison, he became a member of and designed a logo for a group of prisoners called STOP – Stand Together On Purpose, a group dedicated to battling recidivism – the pattern of criminals returning to crime, and consequently to prison.
Keup was released from prison in July 2011 after a court found no evidence of intent to commit murder.
He has lived in North Platte since his release.