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Justice News

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

McLaughlin Man Sentenced for Larceny

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Larceny was sentenced on September 12, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Blaze Miles Thundershield, age 21, was sentenced to time served of 14 months custody, 3 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $10,000, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Thundershield was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 14, 2015.  He pled guilty on July 11, 2016.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on July 18, 2015, when a Corson County Sherriff’s Deputy was approached by the manager of the feedlot in McLaughlin, who informed the deputy that a blue Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, with a red horse trailer, had been stolen.  The manager observed the vehicle “spinning cookies” in the lot, and he thought the vehicle’s owner was messing around.  However, when he called the owner of the vehicle, he learned he was working near Kennel, South Dakota, and was not driving his vehicle.  It was at this point that the manager noticed the deputy across the street and informed him of the stolen vehicle.  The victim also called dispatch to report his truck stolen.  The deputy left to search for the vehicle, which he was unable to locate.  

Later in the evening, Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement was dispatched to McLaughlin after receiving several reports of shots being fired in the area.  Responding officers were informed that four young male individuals were seen walking in the area with a handgun firing it in the air.  Law enforcement was also informed that two young males were seen driving a blue pick-up truck, with a red horse trailer.

While law enforcement was collecting statements, a neighbor pointed up the street to a group of young boys approaching the location of the officers.  Officers began running towards the boys, ordering them to lie on the ground.  Three of the boys complied.  One boy fled on foot, heading towards the McLaughlin rodeo grounds.  He was eventually apprehended, hiding in a bed of weeds, and identified as Thundershield, the Defendant.  Thundershield and another person were arrested on tribal charges. 

Officers later found the stolen pick-up truck and trailer in a stand of trees near the golf course.  The truck had been shot multiple times and was declared a total loss by the insurance company.  The victim’s loss was valued in excess of $20,000 by his insurance company.  The gun has not yet been recovered. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

Thundershield remained in custody due to an outstanding warrant on an unrelated matter.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated September 16, 2016