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Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that Michael Wayne Zephier, age 40, of Yankton, South Dakota, was found guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The charge carries a minimum penalty of 90 days and maximum penalty of 3 years in custody and/or a minimum of a $5,000 fine, up to one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Zephier was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 3, 2020. The grand jury charged that on or about February 2, 2020, in the District of South Dakota, Zephier, did knowingly and intentionally, possess with the intent to distribute 5 or more grams of methamphetamine (actual), a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The trial jury found Zephier not guilty of that charge, but found him guilty of the lesser included crime of possession of methamphetamine.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Yankton Sioux Tribal Law Enforcement. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case.
A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for April 19, 2021. The defendant was returned to the custody of the State of South Dakota, where he is currently incarcerated for violation of his parole.