United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Virgil Running Bear, Jr., age 40, of Bismarck, North Dakota, appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on September 23, 2013, and pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release and an additional 2 years of supervised release upon revocation, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charge stems from an incident wherein on or about December 10, 2012, the Edmunds County Sheriff’s Office was called to investigate a report of a vehicle in a ditch near Ipswich, South Dakota. The sheriff’s deputy discovered the defendant’s vehicle. After receiving Running Bear’s driver’s license and registration, the deputy learned that Running Bear had a revoked license and was on federal probation. With permission, the deputy searched Running Bear’s vehicle and found three firearms and assorted ammunition. All the weapons found in Running Bear’s possession were transported through interstate commerce and functioned as designed.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives and the Edmunds County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich is prosecuting the case.
Running Bear was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing which has been set for December 30, 2013.