United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Manderson, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Discharging, Brandishing, or Possessing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, Possession of Ammunition by a Prohibited Person, and Assault on a Federal Officer.
Elijah West, age 24, was indicted on May 19, 2022. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on May 25, 2022, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges stem from West, a previously convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, discharging a firearm multiple times in December 2021 in Manderson. West also assaulted two individuals and an Oglala Sioux Tribe police officer during the same time period. The charges are merely an accusation and West is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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.
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case.
West was detained pending trial. A trial date has not been set.