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Press Release

Pine Ridge Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Conspiracy and Firearms Charge

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

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. The sentencing took place on May 15, 2024.

Justin Bradford, 46, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for the Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person charge. He was sentenced to 19 years and seven months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for the Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance charge. He was also ordered to pay a total of $200 in special assessments to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The prison sentences and periods of supervision are to be served concurrently.

Bradford was indicted for the charges by a federal grand jury in October of 2022. He pleaded guilty on March 10, 2024.

In September of 2022, law enforcement searched Bradford’s residence in connection with a homicide that occurred. Bradford was not involved in the death of the individual, but the shooter intended on purchasing methamphetamine from Bradford when the shooting took place. During the search, law enforcement seized three firearms and several different kinds of ammunition. Bradford was a convicted felon and was not lawfully allowed to possess firearms or ammunition. Bradford was also charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine from 2019 through 2022. Bradford managed and organized at least three individuals involved in the conspiracy.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Poppen prosecuted the case.

Bradford was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.


Updated May 23, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice