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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 24, 2020

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced for Firearm Charges and Voluntary Manslaughter

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter and Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence was sentenced on August 17, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Dante Johnson was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200.

An Information was filed against Johnson on January 14, 2019.  He pled guilty on June 1, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on January 12, 2019, when Johnson fired a gun and people at a neighboring house heard it.  Upon hearing the gunshot, the victim exited the residence to see what was going on.  As the victim stepped forward, Johnson pointed a handgun at him and shot the victim in the chest.  The victim collapsed and died due to the gunshot wound.

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: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller prosecuted the case.    

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

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 24, 2020