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Press Release

North Dakota Man Sentenced for Possession of Firearm as Drug User

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

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Mandan, North Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on September 20, 2021, by District Judge Charles B. Kornmann, U.S. District Court.

Joel Kraft, Jr., age 34, was sentenced to two years of probation, a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100, and forfeiture of a firearm and ammunition.

Kraft was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 8, 2020.  He pled guilty on June 21, 2021.

The conviction stemmed from a traffic stop that occurred on May 25, 2020, on U.S. Highway 12 in Walworth County, South Dakota.  Kraft, then knowingly being an unlawful user of marijuana, knowingly possessed a loaded revolver, which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce and foreign commerce. 

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. 

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.

Updated September 22, 2021