ATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

10/30/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/30/2020 11:20

Working with Law Enforcement Agencies Across South Dakota, U.S. Attorney’s Office Increases Firearms-Related Prosecutions by 60 percent in Past Year

Federal, State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement Officials discussing violent crime during 'Operation Fall Clean Up' in Rapid City, SD, on September 21, 2019.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons announced that federal prosecutors in the District of South Dakota, working cooperatively with law enforcement agencies across the State, charged 139 defendants with firearms-related charges during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, despite the challenges imposed on the criminal justice system and law enforcement officers everywhere by COVID-19. This was a 60 percent increase over FY 2019. Nationally, the Department of Justice charged more than 14,200 defendants with firearms-related crimes during FY 2020.

'Working with our state, local, tribal, and federal partners across South Dakota to enforce federal gun laws is a critical part of our united strategy to combat violent crime,' said U.S. Attorney Parsons. 'Keeping illegal firearms out of the hands of violent criminals is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice and we will use all appropriate, available means to keep every person in every community safe from gun crime.'

'Reducing violent gun crime is a main pillar of ATF's mission to ensure our communities are safe,' said ATF Special Agent in Charge Terry Henderson, of the St. Paul Field Division. 'This significant increase in prosecutions is a testament to the hard work of the United States Attorney's Office and all levels of law enforcement throughout South Dakota. ATF is proud to work alongside each and every one of our partners in the pursuit of justice.'

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm or ammunition if you fall into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon, an illegal alien, or an unlawful user of a controlled substance. In addition, it is illegal to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase - or even to attempt to illegally purchase - firearms or ammunition if the buyer is a prohibited person or is illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of someone else, an illegal transaction known as a straw purchase. Lying in response to one of the questions asked on ATF Form 4473, a document that one is required to complete in order to legally purchase a firearm, is also a federal offense. Most of these federal offenses are punishable by up to ten years in federal prison.

Recent firearms-related prosecutions in the District of South Dakota include the following cases:

Southern Division:

  • United States v. Mogoliolo. On October 20, 2020, Joseph Mogoliolo, age 50, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence L. Piersol to one year and one day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after his conviction for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Mogoliolo was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 3, 2020. He pleaded guilty on July 30, 2020. The conviction stemmed from an incident on October 24, 2019, when police were dispatched to suspicious activity near a vehicle in downtown Sioux Falls. Police saw Mogoliolo near the vehicle and a drug pipe in plain view inside the vehicle. Police searched the vehicle and found methamphetamine, other drug paraphernalia, and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Mogoliolo, who had previously been convicted of a felony crime, was prohibited under federal law from possessing any firearms. This case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case. Mogoliolo was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
  • United States v. Hackett. On October 6, 2020, Johnathan David Hackett, age 39, of Sioux Falls was indicted by a federal grand jury for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. The indictment alleges that on or about May 23, 2020, Hackett, a convicted felon, possessed, sold, and disposed of a stolen firearm, knowing that it had been stolen. Hackett appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on October 14, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the indictment. He was remanded to state custody pending trial. The charges are merely accusations and Hackett is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sioux Falls Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Connie Larson is prosecuting the case.
  • United States v. Shropshire. On October 6, 2020, Allen Vincent Shropshire, age 59, of Sioux Falls, SD was indicted by a federal grand jury for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. The indictment alleges that on or about September 20, 2020, Shropshire, a convicted felon, possessed a firearm. Shropshire appeared before Judge Duffy on October 14, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the indictment. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. The charge is merely an accusation and Hackett is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sioux Falls Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Connie Larson is prosecuting the case.
  • United States v. Patton. On October 6, 2020, Gregory Dawon Patton a/k/a Gregory Duwan Patton, age 18, of Country Club Hills, Illinois, was indicted by a federal grand jury for Theft from a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer. The indictment alleges that on or about June 1, 2020, Patton stole and unlawfully took and carried away fifteen firearms, including shotguns and pistols, from Palace City Pawn, a federally licensed firearms dealer located in Mitchell, SD. Patton made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich of the Northern District of Indiana on October 26, 2020. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service with an order for transport to the District of South Dakota. His arraignment in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls has not yet been scheduled. The charges are merely accusations and Patton is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Mitchell Police Department, Sioux Falls Police Department, and LaPorte County (Indiana) Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Connie Larson is prosecuting the case.

Northern Division:

  • United States v. Doll. On October 26, 2020, Scott Alex Doll, age 49, of Dickinson, North Dakota, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann to 16 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after being convicted for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. Doll was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 11, 2020. He pleaded guilty on July 27, 2020. The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred in Mobridge, South Dakota, on April 25, 2019, wherein Doll and another male exited their vehicle and walked up to a Mobridge police officer who was sitting in his patrol car. The officer observed Doll to have an empty pistol holder on his hip. Doll told the officers the firearm was in the driver's side door of the vehicle. The officer observed Doll had many keychains on his belt, including a red and white floating bobber key chain. The officer asked Doll if he could see the bobber, and inside was a baggie of methamphetamine. Doll admitted to being a methamphetamine user, and using drugs three hours prior to the stop, and is a drug user and is thus prohibited from using firearms. This case was investigated by the Corson County Sheriff's Office, the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case. Following sentencing, Doll was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
  • United States v. Claymore. On October 19, 2020, Brady James Claymore, age 33, of McLaughlin, SD was sentenced by Judge Kornmann to 50 months in federal prison, and three years of supervised release, following his convictions for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Claymore was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 14, 2020. He pleaded guilty on September 15, 2020. The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2019, wherein Claymore conspired with others to distribute between 40 and 60 kilograms of marijuana in McLaughlin, South Dakota. On September 24, 2019, in McLaughlin, Claymore's vehicle was stopped by law enforcement and a search of his vehicle uncovered approximately 830 grams of marijuana, two digital scales, and a short-barreled shotgun. Claymore knowingly possessed the shotgun, and at the time he possessed it, he was knowingly a user of and addicted to marijuana. This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Mobridge Police Department, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Assistant U.S. Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case. Following sentencing, Claymore was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
  • United States v. Two Hearts. On October 8, 2020, Darrell Two Hearts, age 41, of Aberdeen, SD was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm as a result of a federal jury trial in Aberdeen. On April 25, 2020, Two Hearts was arrested in Aberdeen. Officers had been searching for Two Hearts to arrest him on outstanding warrants. When they found him, Two Hearts had a loaded handgun in his backpack, along with syringes, a pot pipe, and a marijuana grinder. He also had a small amount of methamphetamine in his pants pocket. He had previously been convicted of felony crimes that prohibited him from possessing any firearms. At trial, a jury unanimously found that he illegally possessed a 9mm handgun. A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date has been set for December 14, 2020. Two Hearts was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. This case was investigated by the Aberdeen Police Department, the Brown County Sheriff's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case.

Central Division:

  • United States v. Larvie. On September 30, 2020, David D. Larvie, Jr., age 38, of Mission, SD was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition as the result of a federal jury trial in Pierre. On November 13, 2019, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Tribal police got a call that a shot had been fired from a van driven by David Larvie in South Antelope Community, near Mission. Officers located and stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Larvie. Larvie denied having a firearm, indicating he could not possess firearms as he is on federal felony supervised release. He was searched and a stash of forty-three .22 caliber bullets was found in his back pocket, and a loaded .22 caliber firearm was found on the rear floorboard, though within arm's reach of the driver's seat. Larvie's prior felony convictions include third degree burglary and failure to appear in 2003 and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in 2008. Larvie will be sentenced on December 14, 2020. The case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.
  • United States v. Hill. On October 5, 2020, Shilo Hill, age 25, of Eagle Butte, SD, was sentenced to 84 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm in Ziebach County on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. On April 18, 2019, Tribal police got a call that a gun was fired near a residence west of Dupree, South Dakota. Officers responded and stopped a vehicle in which Hill was a passenger. Officers seized a Colt brand .357 Magnum caliber revolver, which Hill knowingly possessed. The revolver was loaded with ammunition and was stored next to the defendant in the passenger side door. The firearm was actually stolen. He also possessed some drug paraphernalia and a small amount of methamphetamine in the vehicle when stopped. Hill has prior felony convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon in 2016 and possession of a stolen firearm in 2014. The case was investigated by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.
  • United States v. Neck. On October 14, 2020, Jean Xarles Neck, a/k/a John Neck, age 20, of Parmalee, SD, was indicted by a federal grand jury for Assault With a Dangerous Weapon, Child Abuse, and Discharge of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on October 21, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release. Restitution may also be ordered. The Indictment alleges that on June 6, 2020, Neck assaulted several individuals, including a child, by discharging a firearm multiple times at a home where the individuals were occupants, with the intent to do bodily harm. The charges are merely accusations and Neck is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The investigation is being conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Elmore is prosecuting the case. Neck was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has been set for December 29, 2020.

Western Division:

  • United States v. Bocanegra. On October 19, 2020, Lawrence Bocanegra, age 40, of Rapid City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken to 40 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, following his conviction for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. The charge relates to Bocanegra, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms, unlawfully possessing a semi-automatic pistol in September 2019 during a traffic stop at Rapid City. The investigation was conducted by the Rapid City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson prosecuted the case. Bocanegra was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
  • United States v. Larive and Englert. Between March 16, 2020, and March 21, 2020, Shannon Larive, age 26, of Rapid City, and Karmen Englert, age 36, of Rapid City, were involved in the armed robberies of multiple casinos in Rapid City. During each robbery, Larive brandished a firearm to obtain money from an employee of the casino. Englert assisted as the getaway driver. During one robbery, Larive discharged a .22 caliber pistol. Larive and Englert were arrested following a pursuit involving law enforcement. After the vehicle came to a stop, Larive fled and discarded the .22 caliber pistol used during one of the robberies, which was later recovered by law enforcement. Officers searched the vehicle and numerous .22 caliber rounds of ammunition were recovered. Larive and Englert were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 23, 2020. Larive recently signed a plea agreement to enter a plea of guilty to interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. Englert recently signed a plea agreement to enter a plea of guilty to interference with commerce by robbery. The change of plea hearing for both defendants is scheduled for November 14, 2020, in United States District Court. This case was investigated by the Rapid City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson is prosecuting the case.
  • United States v. Standing Bear. On April 24, 2020, Dana Standing Bear, age 42, of Rapid City, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine with an intent to distribute it. On February 27, 2019, officers with the Rapid City Police Department located a vehicle stuck in the snow. Standing Bear was the driver and only occupant. The officers discovered that Standing Bear had an active warrant for his arrest and they could also smell burnt marijuana coming from inside his vehicle. Officers arrested Standing Bear and a search of his vehicle was conducted. During the search, officers located two loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistols, more than 100 grams of methamphetamine, jeweler bags, and a digital scale. Standing Bear has a prior felony drug conviction. This case was investigated by the Rapid City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson prosecuted the case.
  • United States v. Byker and Hirschfeld. On June 8, 2020, Devin Byker, age 25, of Piedmont, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for carjacking and using and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and Craig Hirschfeld, age 25, of Box Elder, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for using and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. On June 29, 2019, Byker and Hirschfeld requested another individual give them a ride from one location in Rapid City to another. After they arrived at the location, Byker and Hirschfeld pinned the individual up against his vehicle, brandished stolen firearms, pointed the firearms at him, held him at gun point, and took his wallet and phone. After obtaining the personal items, they continued to brandish firearms, forced the individual to remove his clothing, and then stole his vehicle and fled. Law enforcement later located Byker in another stolen vehicle along with the stolen firearm he used in the carjacking. The case was investigated by the Rapid City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson.
  • United States v. Conroy. On January 23, 2020, Corbin Conroy, age 43, of Rapid City, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for committing an armed robbery at a casino in Rapid City. On March 17, 2019, Conroy entered the Jokers Casino armed with a semi-automatic pistol. Conroy brandished and pointed the pistol at a casino employee, demanded the cash from the register, and took approximately $1,750.00. Conroy then fled the casino. Conroy is a prior felon who had only recently been released from federal prison for committing an earlier armed robbery of the Jokers Casino. This case was investigated by the Rapid City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson prosecuted the case.

All of these cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney's Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

These cases are also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice's signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department's past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

For more information on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/atf-form-4473.

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