SIOUX FALLS — U.S. Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that Mark James Olson, 35, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance was found guilty by a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The verdict was announced on November 16, 2022.
The charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison up to 40 years and/or a $5,000,000 fine, mandatory four years of supervised release to life, and a special rating of 100 $ for the Federal Criminal Police Office victim fund.
Olson was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2021. A substitute charge was returned in July 2022.
According to evidence presented during the trial on or about June 28, 2021 in Sioux Falls, after being convicted of a felony and being an unlawful controlled substance user, Olson possessed a loaded semi-automatic handgun and ammunition. Olson also possessed with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine (actual), a Schedule II controlled substance.
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 gun violence and make our neighborhoods safer for all. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy that strengthens PSN based on these core principles: Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, Supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, Focus and strategic alignment of enforcement priorities and measurement of results.
This case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant US Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri and Assistant US Special Attorney Beth Ebert prosecuted the case.
An on-site investigation was ordered and a judgment date set for February 6, 2023. The defendant was taken into custody by the US Marshals Service.