For Immediate Release
Kyle Man Charged with Illegal Possession of a Firearm
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Kyle, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number.
Jesse Runnels, age 37, was charged on December 17, 2019. Runnels appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on January 27, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges relate to Runnels, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms, being in possession of a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which had an obliterated serial number. The charges are merely an accusation and Runnels is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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.
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.
Runnels was detained pending trial. A trial date has not been set.