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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota
Alison J. Ramsdell, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 17, 2022

Federal Jury Convicts Sioux Falls Man of Firearm and Drug Crimes

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that Mark James Olson, age 35, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on November 16, 2022.

The charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance carries a mandatory minimum of five years in custody up to 40 years and/or a $5,000,000 fine, mandatory four years of supervised release up to life, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Olson was initially indicted by a federal grand jury in September of 2021. A superseding indictment was returned in July of 2022.

According to evidence presented during trial, on or about June 28, 2021, in Sioux Falls, Olson, having been convicted of a felony and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance, possessed a loaded semi-automatic handgun and ammunition. Olson also possessed with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine (actual), a Schedule II controlled substance.

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.

This case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Ebert prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date has been set for February 6, 2023. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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