US Attorney

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The leader of the fundamentalist Mormon church who escaped authorities nearly a year ago is in jail in South Dakota. Officials in Utah say Lyle Jeffs likely faces a felony charge for escaping custody in addition to food stamp fraud charges.

South Dakota authorities discovered Lyle Jeffs Wednesday evening near Yankton. A tip the day before included a description of late model Ford F-150. FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Barnhart in Salt Lake City says that identified the FLDS leader.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... April 18,2017 Show 075 Hour 1

The University of South Dakota continues its three week event, "Human Cargo: Trafficking in the 21st Century," sponsored by the Criminal Justice and International Studies programs. Tonight at 6 p.m. the program looks at challenges close to home with a conversation about sex trafficking in South Dakota. Kevin Koliner is Assistant US Attorney for South Dakota. 

Telephone Scam Targeting South Dakotans

Nov 30, 2016
Office of the US Attorney for district of South Dakota / Department of Justice

Some South Dakotans are receiving telephone calls from an unknown source claiming to be a police officer, a clerk of courts, or a judge.

The caller tells the targeted individual they failed to report for jury duty and must send in money to avoid arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Peterman says residents should know the telephone call is a scam.

He says government officials will never call asking for money.  

US Attorney Names Point Person For Election Fraud Complaints

Oct 24, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The US Attorney’s office in South Dakota is naming a District Election Officer to field any complaints of election fraud this year.

The district officer works with other federal agencies to insure a fair election.  

US Attorney’s office / DOJ

The US Attorney’s office and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have come to a new agreement that aims to help inmates transition back into life outside prison.

The overall goal is to reduce crime and recidivism by helping newly released inmates integrate back into tribal communities.  

Troy Morley is the Tribal Liaison  for the US Attorney’s office in South Dakota.   He says currently the halfway houses used by former prisoners are outside the reservation.   Morley says this causes problems for those just released who want to visit home.    

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.

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.

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. 

High Profile Hacks Highlight Cyber Security

Jul 24, 2013

Have you changed your computer password lately?  Now might be a good time.  This week two high profile South Dakotans had their Twitter accounts hacked.

The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson, and Colonel Craig Price the Superintendent of the South Dakota Dakota Highway Patrol were both hacked.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that both cases highlight the importance of cyber security.