For Immediate Release
Rapid City Woman Sentenced on Firearm Charge
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, woman convicted of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm was sentenced on January 4, 2021, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court. Bonnie Jean Estes, age 25, was sentenced to time served through January 19, 2021, equal to approximately eight months in custody, three years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100. Estes was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 11, 2020. She pled guilty on November 5, 2020. The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on December 26, 2019, in Jones County, South Dakota. On that date, Estes was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Jose Rodriguez. While driving through Murdo, South Dakota, Rodriguez attracted the attention of a Murdo Police Officer, who attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Rather than stop, Rodriguez led officers on a high-speed chase that ended when Rodriguez’s vehicle became stuck in a field in Lyman County. Rodriguez and Estes fled the vehicle on foot, but were apprehended after a short pursuit. Multiple firearms, including an illegal short-barrel rifle, were located in the vehicle, along with multiple rounds of ammunition.
Rodriguez was also indicted based on his involvement in the incident. On June 30, 2020, he pled guilty to Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and was sentenced on September 21, 2020, to 52 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
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 Murdo Police Department, the Lyman County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.
Estes was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.