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Press Release

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Failure to Appear

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 convicted of Possession of Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Failure to Appear was sentenced on March 22, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Colten Walker Dolphus, age 31, was sentenced to 15 months in custody for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and 3 months in custody for Failure to appear, to be run consecutively, followed by 3 years of supervised release, forfeiture of two firearms and ammunition, and a special assessment of $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Dolphus was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 14, 2017, for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and a Superseding Indictment was filed on December 5, 2017, for Failure to Appear.  Dolphus pled guilty to both charges on December 29, 2017.

The firearms charges against Dolphus stem from a traffic stop conducted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Police on December 9, 2016, on a vehicle in which he was a passenger.  At the time of the stop, law enforcement seized a rifle from the front seat of the vehicle, and a 12 gauge sawed off shotgun located in the back seat next to where Dolphus was sitting.  He admitted to smoking marijuana on the date of the traffic stop and regularly prior to that time.  A blood sample taken from Dolphus tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.  He admitted that he owned both firearms and agreed to forfeit both of them and the ammunition seized by law enforcement.  Besides his drug use, Dolphus also had a prior misdemeanor domestic violence conviction that prohibited him from possessing a firearm. 

The failure to appear charges stem from Dolphus’ failure to attend his initial change of plea hearing scheduled for November 14, 2017.   

This case was investigated by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services Narcotic Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney SaraBeth Donovan prosecuted the case.

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

Updated March 26, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice