DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Ronald A. Parsons, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ace Crawford

Minnesota Man Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Felon and Drug User

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Staples, Minnesota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Felon and Drug User was sentenced on September 9, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Mark Schmidt, age 54, was sentenced to 5 months in federal prison, followed by 5 months of home confinement, 2 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Schmidt was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 23, 2019. He pled guilty on June 19, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on December 5, 2018, where Schmidt, a convicted felon and user of marijuana, was stopped while driving on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation and knowingly possessed a .357 Magnum caliber revolver and twenty-three rounds of ammunition.

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 was investigated by the Corson County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.

Schmidt was ordered to report to his designated prison on October 1, 2019.

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St. Paul Field Division