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Cocaine and firearm sentence handed down to Rapid City man

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Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:59 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Acting United States Attorney Dennis Holmes announced that a Rapid City man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, was sentenced on March, 22, 2021, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, of U.S. District Court.

Michael Kearney, age 29, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of $500, and a special assessment fee to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200.

Kearney was indicted by a federal grand jury on March, 9, 2020. He pled guilty on December, 21, 2020. The convictions stemmed from a drug conspiracy that began in January, 2017, and continued through March 2018. Kearney was involved in the ongoing distribution of cocaine and marijuana on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Further, on July 23, 2017, Kearney, an addict and active user of a controlled substance, was in the possession of an illegal firearm. Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity, and 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 to enforce their illegal operations.

This case is a 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 a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals. The inner-workings of PSN involve the collaborative work of U.S. Attorney’s Offices with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. The Project assists communities in developing effective, locally-based strategies in stopping violent criminals and their illegal activities.

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney, Meghan N. Dilges.

Following his sentencing, Kearney was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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