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Justice News

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

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pine Ridge Man Pleads Not Guilty To Theft Of Government Property

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Theft of Government Property and False Statement.

Michael Twiss, age 49, was indicted on November 19, 2013.  Twiss appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on December 4, 2013, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund on each charge.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges relate to Twiss illegally taking overtime payments in an amount greater than $1,000 while employed as a Wildland Fire Operations Specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2009.  Twiss then gave false statements concerning the theft to a special agent with the Office of Inspector General.

The charges are merely accusations and Twiss is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Venhuizen is prosecuting the case.

Twiss was released on bond pending trial.  A trial date has been set for February 18, 2014.

Updated June 22, 2015