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Press Release

Mitchell Man Sentenced with Being Felon in Possession of Firearm

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Mitchell, South Dakota, man convicted of Felon in Possession of a Firearm was sentenced on August 31, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

David Edward Petersdorf, age 51, was sentenced to 3 years of probation and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Petersdorf was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 6, 2019.  He pled guilty on June 8, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on May 7, 2019, when Petersdorf allowed law enforcement officers to search his residence.  Petersdorf advised the officers that they would find a Springfield Armory, Model XD-9 Sub-Compact, 9mm handgun, which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.  Petersdorf had a prior conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, and he knew he could not possess any firearms.  

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 its 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 local communities 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:

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Nash prosecuted the case.

Updated September 9, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses