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Justice News

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sioux Falls Man Found Guilty of Drugs and Weapons Charges

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that Shawn Russell Sorensen, age 54, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was found guilty of drugs and weapons charges as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

Sorensen was charged by indictment with Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine), and Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon.

Because Sorensen has two prior felony drug convictions, his methamphetamine charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in custody and/or a $20 million fine.  The gun charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release.  Each offense also has a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  

 The investigation of Sorensen began when a package containing a half-pound of cocaine and 10 pounds of methamphetamine was intercepted by the United States Postal Service.  The package was subsequently linked to Sorensen.  The evidence established Sorensen had received multiple packages in this manner.  When Sorensen’s vehicle was stopped by law enforcement, he had in his possession three firearms and ammunition.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rock County, Minnesota Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer D. Mammenga and John E. Haak prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered, but a sentencing date has not yet been set.  The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Drug Trafficking
Updated October 7, 2016