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Reporter charged with making prank phone call using governor's phone number


A South Dakota reporter has been accused of making a prank phone call concocted to appear like it came from Gov. Kristi Noem’s phone number.

Austin Goss is charged with making a threatening, harassing or misleading contacts, which is a class 1 misdemeanor.

According to a Stanley County arrest affidavit, Goss used a website called “” to make a prank phone call on Jan. 23, 2023 to someone with the initials "D.L." Former state Republican Party Chairman Dan Lederman confirmed with SDPB News that he was the target of the call.

The call was made to appear like it came from Noem's personal phone. The affidavit states Goss would have had access to both Noem's and Lederman's phone numbers.

The call itself was a pre-recorded voice message where a man demands to know where the "vaccines" are at. The description from the website implies the message is intended to sound like it is coming from a "mafia guy." The call ends with the message "You've just been pranked by"

DCI investigators tracked the message back to Goss’s Fort Pierre home using the IP address.

Goss was a political reporter for Sioux Falls-based Dakota News Now and Rapid City-based KOTA. The TV stations issued the following joint statement Thursday:

“We learned of the incident involving Austin Goss late last night. Once we gathered the facts, we decided to terminate his employment with our stations. Dakota News Now and KOTA Territory were unaware of Mr. Goss’ activities and deeply regret the lack of judgment he showed, which violated our policies and is contrary to our commitment to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”

Noem’s office declined to comment.