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Press Release

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced for Meth Trafficking

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

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on April 19, 2021, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Samuel Swift Bird, age 30, was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a $500 fine, a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims fund in the amount of $100, and forfeiture of three firearms and ammunition.

Swift Bird was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 9, 2020.  He pled guilty on February 1, 2021. 

On August 30, 2019, at a motel in Eagle Butte, Swift Bird knowingly and intentionally possessed five grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  He also possessed a handgun and over $6,000 in U.S. currency. 

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:

The investigation was conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.   

Swift Bird was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated April 22, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice