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Press Release

Yankton Man Sentenced for Possession of a Controlled Substance

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

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Yankton, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Controlled Substance was sentenced on April 19, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. 

Michael Wayne Zephier, age 40, was sentenced to 3 years of probation and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $25.

​Zephier was indicted for Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance by a federal grand jury on March 3, 2020.  He was found guilty of the lesser offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls on March 3, 2021.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on February 2, 2020, when Zephier got the car he was driving stuck in a ditch near Marty, South Dakpta. A Yankton Sioux Tribal Law Enforcement officer found the car and noticed it had expired license plates.  While the officer was waiting for a tow truck, Zephier arrived in another vehicle and stated the stuck car belonged to a friend who was not from Marty.  Zephier then left, but then returned to tell the officer that his friend did not want to come back to his car.

When the officer asked Zephier for his name, Zephier provided a false name.  However, the officer knew the actual person whose name Zephier used so the officer instructed Zephier not to leave.  Zephier then fled on foot.  The officer pursued Zephier on foot, quickly subdued and arrested him.  When searched, Zephier had several bags of methamphetamine on him.   Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance.

​This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Yankton Sioux Law Enforcement.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hodges prosecuted the case.

Updated April 22, 2021