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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2022

Pine Ridge Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man convicted on two separate charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and a third charge of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on May 20, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier.

As to the conviction for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Nikki Joshua James Coomes, age 30, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  Regarding the first conviction for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Coomes was sentenced to serve 37 months in federal prison, and on the second conviction of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Coomes was sentenced to serve 10 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  All three sentences are to be served concurrently. Coomes was also ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Coomes pleaded guilty to the Possession of Firearms charges on December 22, 2021.  Coomes, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms, was found to be in possession of a 20-gauge pump-action shotgun on December 5, 2020, at Pine Ridge.  On September 15, 2021, Coomes was found in possession of a 9 mm caliber pistol, two .22 caliber rifles, two 12-gauge shotguns, a .380 caliber pistol, and a .38 caliber derringer on September 15, 2021, at Pine Ridge.

The firearms investigations were conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Sazama prosecuted the cases.

Coomes also pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance on April 26, 2022.  From approximately June 2018 through 2021, Coomes obtained methamphetamine from multiple sources and then distributed it primarily from his residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  The Defendant would supply quantities of methamphetamine to other persons, who would in turn further distribute the methamphetamine.

The drug distribution case was investigated by the Badlands Safe Trails Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Martin, South Dakota, Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina S. Nelson prosecuted the case.

Following the pronouncement of his sentences, Coomes was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated June 2, 2022