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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Monday, March 4, 2013

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty To Criminal Trespass

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Chicago, Illinois man convicted of two counts of Criminal Trespass has pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced on February 27, 2013 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno. Steven Nichols, age 42, was sentenced on Count 1 to 30 days in custody and a $5 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund. On Count 2, he was sentenced to one year of probation, and ordered to not re-enter the lands of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.

In the summer of 2011, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Attorney General petitioned the tribal court to bar Nichols, a non-Indian, from entering the lands of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. On June 10, 2011, Nichols was served with notice of the proceedings. On September 22, 2011, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court entered an Emergency Writ of Exclusion barring him from entering the lands of the Rosebud Reservation. On September 22, 2011 the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council also voted to exclude the Defendant from the Rosebud Reservation. On September 23, 2011, a tribal law enforcement officer served him with the exclusionary order and escorted him off of the reservation.

Tribal law enforcement officers later learned that Nichols had re-entered the reservation. On September 9, 2012 officers apprehended him and again transported him off of the reservation. On January 30, 2013 officers learned Nichols was staying at a residence within the reservation. Officers searched for Nichols and found him hiding in a crawl space of the residence. He was arrested on federal criminal trespass charges and transported off of the reservation and into federal custody.

The investigation was conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Maher. Nichols was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal to complete his sentence.

Updated June 22, 2015