Eagle Butte Man Sentenced on Firearm Charge

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

PIERRE – United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm was sentenced on November 21, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Joseph Elsey, age 34, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Elsey was indicted for Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm by a federal grand jury in December of 2022.  He pleaded guilty on August 11, 2022.

On July 11, 2021, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services officers found a revolver, methamphetamine, and methamphetamine paraphernalia in Elsey’s vehicle in Eagle Butte. Elsey admitted he owned the pistol. Elsey had been convicted of aggravated assault in 2016, and this conviction made it illegal for him to possess firearms. Elsey was also prohibited from possessing firearms because he was a habitual user of methamphetamine.


This case was investigated by Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the Dewey County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Thunem prosecuted the case.

Elsey was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.