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Press Release

Colorado Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Trafficking of Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Greeley, Colorado, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced by Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.

John Schrum, age 47, was sentenced on January 27, 2020, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Schrum was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2018.  The charge related to Schrum and another person obtaining and transporting at least 500 grams of methamphetamine from Colorado, for distribution in western South Dakota between 2017 and 2018.  During a traffic stop on July 6, 2018, Schrum possessed a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which he is prohibited from possessing, and agreed to forfeit all interests in the firearm.  The co-conspirator’s case is still pending.

Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity.  Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers.  It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:

This case was investigated by federal, state and local agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team (“UNET”), which is a local drug task force comprised of various agencies, including the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rapid City Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman.

Schrum was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated February 2, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods