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Press Release

Gettysburg Man Sentenced on Drug and Firearm Charges

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Gettysburg, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Possession of an Unregistered Firearm and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm Silencer was sentenced on July 30, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Adam Westphal, age 35, was sentenced to 120 months on the conspiracy conviction and 97 months on each firearm conviction.  All custody time is to run concurrent, except for 6 months of the firearm convictions, which runs consecutive to the conspiracy conviction for a total custody sentence of 126 months in federal prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $300.

Westphal was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 13, 2018.  He pled guilty on May 9, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy that occurred between October 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, wherein Westphal knowingly and intentionally combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed with persons known and unknown to distribute and possess with intent to distribute between 500 grams and 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.  Westphal, who is an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance, knowingly received and possessed 12 firearms, including an illegal short shotgun, and ammunition. Additionally, Westphal knowingly received and possessed several homemade silencers and destructive devices, each of which were not registered to him as required by law.

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.

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Potter County Sheriff’s Office, the Mobridge Police Department, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

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

Updated July 31, 2019