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Press Release

McLaughlin Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting A Federal Officer

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

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Verle Janis a/k/a Verl Janis, age 31, of McLaughlin, South Dakota appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on April 23, 2013 and pled guilty to a Superseding Information that charged him with Assaulting, Resisting and Impeding a Federal Officer. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 8 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both, and a period of supervised release of 3 years.

The conviction stems from an incident in January of 2013 when a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer was dispatched to the Bear Soldier West housing project in McLaughlin. Upon arrival, he observed several individuals in the residence and requested a warrant check. He was advised that Janis was on probation with conditions that prohibited alcohol. When the officer attempted to place the Defendant in handcuffs, he became uncooperative and refused to comply. The BIA Officer removed his taser and the Defendant momentarily complied and was placed in the back seat of the patrol unit.

The BIA Officer then secured several personal items left in the house by the Defendant and upon opening the back door to the patrol unit, was kicked in the shoulder by the Defendant. The BIA Officer was forced to remove the Defendant from the patrol unit in order to place him in leg restraints. As he attempted to secure the Defendant, the Officer was kicked in the leg several times.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Morley.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for July 22, 2013. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.

Updated June 22, 2015