United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Dennis Melvin Hopkins, age 42, of Eagle Butte, appeared before United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange on August 30, 2011, and pled guilty to a Superseding Information that charged him with Larceny. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year in custody, a $100,000 fine, or both.
The conviction was the result of an incident that occurred between August 12 and August 27, 2010. At that time, Hopkins was employed by Four Bands Healing Center at Eagle Butte and was tasked with soliciting donations. While soliciting donations, Hopkins picked up a donation of $1,000 from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Instead of giving that check to his employer, Four Bands Healing Center, Hopkins cashed the check and took the money, funds, and assets for his own use.
The investigation was conducted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mikal Hanson.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for November 28, 2011. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.