For Immediate Release
Summerset Man Indicted for Illegal Possession of a Firearm
RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal grand jury has indicted a Summerset, South Dakota, man for Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Prohibited Person and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.
Jason Johnston, age 36, was indicted in April of 2023. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta L. Wollmann on April 28, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 15 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges relate to Johnston, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition, knowingly being in possession of a Mossberg rifle and ammunition in Summerset in January of 2023. Johnston was also in possession of a privately made silencer.
The charges are merely accusations and Johnston 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Summerset Police Department, and the Rapid City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Blair is prosecuting the case.
Johnston was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has been set for June 27, 2023.