There’s a record of drinking-related charges against a man arrested this week and charged with operating a boat that slammed into another boat two weeks ago on West Lake Okoboji, killing a man. Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, arrested 29-year-old Justin Nearman this week and he made an appearance there in Minnehaha County Court. Court records from South Dakota show Nearman pleaded guilty to second-offense drunk-driving there in February 2001. Another man identified as a passenger in the boat hasn’t been charged, and DCI Special Agent in Charge John Quinn was asked if that’s because he helped investigators find and bring in the suspect. Quinn agrees the passenger “is a cooperating individual with law enforcement, and continues to be cooperative.” That cooperating passenger in the boat, 21-year-old Ryan Deighton, is also from Sioux Falls. Nearman’s bond was posted by the man who owns the boat he’d been driving, identified on Friday as friend and co-worker Richard Brandt, who’s a seasonal resident at Okoboji. Agent Quinn wouldn’t say if Brandt came forward to tell investigators his boat had been used the night of the crash. Quinn would say only “It’s an ongoing investigation and there’s some information that still is confidential.” The boat was seized a week ago and Nearman was arrested on Wednesday. He’s scheduled for a hearing September 19 on extradition to Iowa.
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