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Press Release

Eagle Butte Man Indicted for Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm

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

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm.

Joseph Thomas Elsey, age 31, was indicted on December 14, 2021.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on August 1, 2022, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.  On August 11, 2022, he entered a change of plea, pleading to Count I of the Indictment, Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges Elsey unlawfully possessed a firearm on July 10, 2021, and September 14, 2021. The incident occurred in Dewey County, South Dakota.   

The investigation is being conducted by Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Thunem is prosecuting the case.   

Elsey was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

Updated August 16, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses