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Press Release

Eagle Butte Man Indicted on Methamphetamine and Firearm Charges

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises, Distribution to Persons Under Age Twenty-One, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm.

Jess Brian Ducheneaux, age 56, was charged by Superseding Indictment on January 23, 2019.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 14, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Superseding Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in prison and/or a $8,000,000 fine, 10 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each Count.  Restitution may also be ordered. 

Ducheneaux was indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance in December 2018.  The Superseding Indictment further alleges that Ducheneaux maintained a residence where he provided methamphetamine to others, including a person under the age of twenty-one.  The Superseding Indictment further alleges that Ducheneaux is an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance which prohibits him from possessing firearms, however, it is alleged he was in possession of two firearms at the time of his arrest.

The charges are merely accusations and Ducheneaux is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

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.

The investigation is being conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.   

Ducheneaux was released on bond pending trial, which is set for April 16, 2019.

Updated February 15, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods