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Press Release

Rosebud Man Sentenced for Assaulting a Federal Officer

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rosebud, South Dakota, man convicted of Assaulting, Resisting, and Impeding a Federal Officer with a Dangerous Weapon was sentenced on March 19, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Robert Lee Burnette, a/k/a Robert Small Bear, Jr., a/k/a Robert Small Bear, a/k/a B.J. Small Bear, age 24, was sentenced to 7 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Burnette was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 16, 2017.  He pled guilty on December 29, 2017.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on July 14, 2017, in the North Antelope Community, near Mission, South Dakota.  On that evening, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services received a call that Burnette was drunk and causing a disturbance at a residence in North Antelope.  An officer arrived to find Burnette standing in the street brandishing a knife, and yelling at another man, who was holding a bar.  The officer drew his duty weapon, aimed it at Burnette, ordered him to drop the knife, and ordered the other man to back up.  The other man complied and put down the bar.  Burnette ignored the officer’s repeated commands and began to approach the other man, brandishing the knife and yelling.  As Burnette walked past the officer and neared the other man, the officer fired at Burnette, wounding him in the buttocks.  Burnette then went to the ground and complied with a command to drop the knife.  Burnette was subsequently hospitalized for his injuries. 

This case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.

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

Updated March 26, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice