Eagle Butte Man Found Guilty for Assaulting a Federal Officer

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that Joseph Elsey, age 27, of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, was found guilty of Assaulting, Impeding or Resisting a Federal Officer as a result of a federal jury trial in Pierre, South Dakota.  The verdict was returned on March 16, 2022.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in custody and/or a $100,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release, and a $25 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  

Elsey was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 9, 2021. 

The conviction stems from an incident on October 26, 2020, in Ziebach County, South Dakota, when law enforcement was called to the residence where Elsey was staying to have him removed.  When law enforcement arrived, Elsey was detained but then became upset and attempted to get away from the officer.  While the officer was trying further detain Elsey, he struck the officer in the leg.  

This case was investigated by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carl Thunem and Jay Miller prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date is to be set.  The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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