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Press Release

Sioux Falls Man Receives Life Sentence in Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man convicted of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of firearms, was sentenced on April 25, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Shawn Russell Sorensen, age 55, was sentenced to life in prison on the methamphetamine conspiracy conviction. That sentence was mandatory because Sorensen had two previous felony drug convictions. He was sentenced to 120 months in prison on the firearms offense, to run concurrent to the life sentence. He was also ordered to pay $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Sorensen was indicted for the offenses by a federal grand jury on September 20, 2016. He was found guilty after a three-day jury trial that began October 4, 2016.

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.

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

Updated May 3, 2017

Drug Trafficking