Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.
Toby Acevedo, age 50, was charged on March 18, 2021. Acevedo appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on June 23, 2021, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges relate to Acevedo, previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing firearms, possessing an unregistered, illegally shortened Mossberg International semi-automatic rifle, which was found after Acevedo came into contact with Rapid City Police officers in July 2020. The charges are merely an accusation and Acevedo is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is 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
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Rapid City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case.
Acevedo was detained pending trial. A trial date has not been set.
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