(STL.News) United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Spring Creek, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on November 5, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.
Antonio Marshall, age 22, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on each count to run concurrently, three years of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200, and forfeiture of three firearms and ammunition.
Marshall was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 9, 2020. He pled guilty on August 17, 2020.
The conviction stemmed from a conspiracy that began in January 2017, continuing until March 2018, wherein Marshall conspired with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine on the Rosebud Indian reservation. Further, on January 16, 2018, law enforcement seized over 50 grams of cocaine and three firearms from a residence. At the time, Marshall was an unlawful user of a controlled substance and prohibited from possessing the firearms.
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 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. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its 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 local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent 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.