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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 12, 2020

South Dakota Man Indicted on Gun and Drug Charges

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a South Dakota man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

John Thin Elk, age 42, was indicted on March 3, 2020.  He appeared before Veronica L. Duffy on March 6, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

If convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Thin Elk faces a mandatory 10 years, with a maximum penalty life, in custody and/or a $10 million fine, a mandatory period 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  The maximum penalty upon conviction for the Felon in Possession of a Firearm is up to 10 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges are merely accusations and Thin Elk is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer D. Mammenga is prosecuting the case.   

Thin Elk was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

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Updated March 12, 2020