United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by A Prohibited Person was sentenced on September 17, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.
Christian Kersten, age 30, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, forfeiture of the firearm, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.
Kersten was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 14, 2018. He pled guilty on July 10, 2018.
The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on January 22, 2018, when a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe officer made a traffic stop and Kersten was on occupant of the vehicle. Following a search of the vehicle, law enforcement recovered a firearm in the location Kersten had been occupying.
Kersten had been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, was a fugitive from justice, and was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance, making it illegal for him to possess firearms.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case was investigated by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.
Kersten was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.