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Press Release

Sioux Falls Man Sentenced for Meth Trafficking

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on February 1, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

John Thin Elk, age 43, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Thin Elk was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 20, 2020.  He pled guilty on October 29, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on or about February 8, 2019, when Thin Elk knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine.  On that same date, an officer with the Yankton Sioux Tribe was patrolling an area of the reservation when he came upon Thin Elk’s car.  The officer approached the vehicle and found Thin Elk and a female passenger passed out.  A search of the vehicle located drugs which field-tested positive for methamphetamine, which is a Schedule II controlled substance.

This case was investigated by the Yankton Sioux Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer D. Mammenga prosecuted the case.

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

Updated February 5, 2021

Drug Trafficking