Brendan Johnson

Two law enforcement officials are challenging the constitutionality of Constitutional Amendment A. The amendment would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, as well as require the legislature to pass laws on hemp cultivation and ensure access to medical marijuana. The initiative was filed by Brendan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota.

First, SDPB political reporter, Lee Strubinger, joins Lori Walsh to explain how we got here. Then, Brendan Johnson joins us to go over some of nuances of Amendment A ahead of the court challenge.

The crisis with Indian Health Services spans decades. Recent developments such as the closure of Rosebud’s only Emergency Room have added to the despair.

Tim Purdon is an attorney with Robins Kaplan LLP. The firm has filed a pro bono lawsuit against IHS on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Purdon joins Dakota Midday to talk about the complaint and whether litigation can offer hope in desperate times.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota now has an interim United States Attorney this week after Brendan Johnson left office. Randy Sieler is leading the office for now. Multiple factors contribute to the appointment of a new permanent federal prosecutor.

The process of replacing a United States Attorney lies in the hands of the White House Administration. Sandy McKeown is an assistance professor in political science at the University of South Dakota. She says the president fills the US Attorney position with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

After more than five years as South Dakota’s United States Attorney, Brendan Johnson is stepping down. Wednesday Johnson held a news conference to announce that March 11th is his final day in the office.

Brendan Johnson says he set goals when he became South Dakota’s U-S Attorney five and a half years ago. He says he’s proud of accomplishments made under his leadership. Johnson says tribal communities are safer, violence against women and children has decreased, and South Dakotans are cracking down on sex trafficking.

Late last week the U.S. Department of Justice filed in support of plaintiffs in federal court in Rapid City. Two tribes and Native parents charge that Pennington County and state officials hold brief, meaningless hearings 48 hours after children are removed from their homes. The plaintiffs claim that those hearings violate the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, as well as due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. United States Attorney Brendan Johnson tells SDPB’s Victoria Wicks that DOJ often weighs in on cases with federal importance.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart is sharing a message of hope at A South Dakota conference. Smart is one of this week’s speakers talking about violent crime and human trafficking. Smart says everyone needs to pay attention to trafficking – not just potential victims.

Kealey Bultena SDPB

This week health care professionals are gathering in Sioux Falls at the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Conference sponsored by Avera Health and the Department of Justice. Avera has new protocols for health care professionals if they suspect patients are victims of sex trafficking. Nurses, doctors and other health care workers can listen for red flags during assessments and move to more standard questions to identify abuse.

Five men face felony charges for trying to have sex with children following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The number is down from the nine arrested during last year’s rally in the Black Hills.

The men arrested for sex crimes at Sturgis this year are from all over: Nebraska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California. One even lives in Canada.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit set up fake ads online offering sex with kids in exchange for money.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Law enforcement arrested two men last week for trying to set up sex with minors.

James Murphy, 22, of Sioux Falls and Elijah Wilson, 24, of Sioux Falls each face charges stemming from an undercover operation. The two men are the latest round of arrests in human trafficking and crimes against children.

Local, state and federal officials arrested two men who responded to online ads for sex with a minor and showed up to follow through on the deals. Each faces a felony count of solicitation of a minor. That carries a maximum of a decade in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls man convicted of sex trafficking women and children will spend the rest of his life in prison. Mohammed Alaboudi is one of several criminals spending the rest of their lives behind bars for brokering deals in the sex trade. The latest ruling sheds new light on the crimes happening in South Dakota.

The muddy green house in the middle of Sioux Falls looks ordinary as it fades into the line of two-stories near Downtown. But police discovered heinous crimes in the upstairs apartment.

Law enforcement used to see criminal transactions out in the open, but the relatively unregulated internet affords an online realm of shadowy deals and illegal trade. SDPB continues this week’s series examining sex trafficking in South Dakota with a look at how authorities identify and prosecute sex crimes.

Sioux Falls takes pride in being the state’s biggest city, but that banner can’t extinguish the downsides of more people in a small area. Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens says investigators in the street crimes unit focus on unsavory activities. 

State Creates Sex Trafficking Task Force

May 30, 2013

A local Sioux Falls man was convicted of sex trafficking on Thursday. The U.S. Attorney’s office and a team of officials are putting together a task force to stop sex trafficking.

Carl Campbell was convicted to three life sentences for commercial sex trafficking in Sioux Falls. Campbell was found guilty for one count of sex trafficking with force and two counts of sex trafficking involving a minor. U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says it’s time for citizens to accept that sex trafficking happens in South Dakota. He says it is time to act now to end this ugly process.