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Press Release

Harold Man Sentenced for Assaulting a Federal Officer

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

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Harold, South Dakota, man convicted of Assaulting, Resisting, and Impeding a Federal Officer was sentenced on May 10, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Richard Barela, age 31, was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Barela was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 11, 2020.  He pled guilty on December 8, 2021.

In January 2020, Barela was an inmate at the Yankton Community Work Center (YCWC), a minimum security South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) facility in Yankton, South Dakota.  At the time, Barela was serving a sentence for possession of a controlled substance based on a conviction in Hughes County, South Dakota.  On January 3, 2020, Barela escaped from YCWC and stole a vehicle belonging to DOC.  A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest. 

On January 14, 2020, law enforcement received information that Barela was at a residence in Pierre, South Dakota.  Law enforcement personnel from the U.S. Marshals Service, Hughes County Sheriff’s Office, and Pierre Police Department proceeded to the residence to execute the arrest warrant.  After receiving consent to search the residence, multiple law enforcement officers entered the residence to search for Barela.  Barela was located in a basement bedroom, but he refused to surrender and barricaded himself in the bedroom. 

Deputy U.S. Marshals engaged Barela in conversation in an attempt to convince him to surrender.  Barela responded by telling the officers he would not go back to prison and that the officers would have to kill him to get him out of the basement.  Barela also told the officers he had a knife, which he brandished, and he told them he would kill any law enforcement that attempted to take him into custody. 

After approximately four hours, law enforcement deployed tear gas into the bedroom in an effort to end the standoff.  Barela subsequently exited the bedroom and was immediately taken into custody.

This case was investigated by the Pierre Area Joint Fugitive Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Hughes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pierre Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.

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

Updated May 13, 2022