Acting United States Attorney Dennis Holmes announced that a Rosebud, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana and Prohibited Person in Possession of Firearm.
Blade Ryan Marshall, age 24, was indicted on October 7, 2020. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on June 21, 2021, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $1,000,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $300 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that between January 2017 and March 2018, the Defendant conspired with others to distribute cocaine and marijuana on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. The Indictment further alleges that on January 16, 2018, the Defendant, who is a drug user, was in possession of several firearms.
The charges are merely accusations and Marshall is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity. Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers. It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
The investigation is being conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.
Marshall was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not been set.
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