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Press Release

Ridgeview Man Sentenced For Possession Of A Firearm By A Prohibited Person

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

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Ridgeview, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on May 12, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Gary Big Eagle, age 50, was sentenced to 10 months in custody, 2 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Big Eagle was indicted for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person by a federal grand jury on September 17, 2013. He pled guilty to the Indictment on February 11, 2014.

The conviction stems from an incident that took place on May 23, 2013, when a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Police Officer responded to a call. The officer entered the residence from where the call originated and was told that Big Eagle, who had been staying at the residence, was a convicted felon who had taken a rifle from the owner and refused to give it back.  The officers found a rifle in the room where Big Eagle was staying. Big Eagle admitted he had been previously convicted of a felony and that he had not applied to be able to legally possess a firearm. He further acknowledged that the rifle in the room belonged to his mother, and that he used it to shoot skunks and snakes around the property.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller. 

Big Eagle was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.

Updated June 22, 2015