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Press Release

Hot Springs Man Sentenced for Firearm Charge

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

Acting United States Attorney Dennis Holmes announced that a Hot Springs, South Dakota, man convicted of Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm was sentenced on June 7, 2021, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Matthew Leddon, age 45, was sentenced to seven months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, including five months of home confinement, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.  Leddon was also ordered to forfeit all interest in the SIG Sauer pistol and ammunition seized.

Leddon was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 10, 2020.  He pled guilty on March 22, 2021.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on December 24, 2019.  Leddon, who was previously convicted of a felony drug offense, was traveling across the state when he ended up in the median along the interstate in Lyman County.  A South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper stopped to assist Leddon.  During the interaction, the Trooper learned Leddon was a prohibited person due to the drug conviction and discovered the pistol in the vehicle. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in 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:

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

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

Updated June 11, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses