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Press Release

Parmelee Man Sentenced on Firearm Charge

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Parmelee, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on September 28, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Justin Whiting, age 20, was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison, followed by 6 months of home confinement, 30 months of supervised release, forfeiture of firearm, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Whiting was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 14, 2020.  He pled guilty on July 23, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on December 5, 2019, in St. Francis, South Dakota.  On that date, Rosebud Sioux Falls Law Enforcement Services responded to a call for service from St. Francis Indian School regarding Whiting.  The investigation revealed that Whiting had brought a handgun to school and that he was addicted to, and an unlawful user of, marijuana.

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 Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.

Whiting was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated September 29, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice