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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Kyle Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Kyle, South Dakota, man convicted by virtue of a federal jury trial for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on January 3, 2020, by  U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken.  The trial was held August 26-29, 2019.

Brendon Janis, age 35, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. 

From approximately the summer of 2015 through July 2018, Janis distributed multiple pounds of methamphetamine in the area of Kyle.  He had multiple sub-distributors who assisted him.  During the execution of a federal search warrant at his residence in April 2017, Janis had several handguns, which were forfeited.

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 the Department’s 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 the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent 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: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.            

This case was investigated by the Badlands Safe Trails Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The Badlands Task Force is comprised of law enforcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs Drug Enforcement Division, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn N. Rich prosecuted the case.  Multiple co-conspirators have already been sentenced and two more remain pending trial in May 2020.

Janis was immediately returned to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated January 7, 2020