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Case Number: 3:20-cr-30055-RAL-1
Judge: Roberto A. Lange
Court: United States District Court for the District of South Dakota (Hughes County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office, Pierre, South Dakota
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Description: Pierre, South Dakota conspiracy to distribute drugs criminal defense lawyer represented Harvi Lynn Scharp Butte, whoc was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Sharp Butte was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 10, 2020. She pled guilty on July 20, 2020.
The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy in 2019 wherein Sharp Butte conspired with others to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. On March 5, 2019, Sharp Butte and a co-conspirator were arrested after law enforcement uncovered a handgun, over $12,000 in U.S. currency, and a small amount of methamphetamine in their vehicle near Mission, South Dakota.
Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity. Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers. It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.
This case is 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.
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.
This case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.
Sharp Butte was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment; 3 years supervised release; $500.00 fine; $100.00 special assessment