U.S Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota
(605) 330-4400
October 6, 2014

Illinois Man Sentenced for Criminal Trespass

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Chicago, Illinois, man charged with Criminal Trespass pled guilty to and was sentenced on September 30, 2014, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno.

Steven Nichols, age 43, was sentenced to nine months in custody, one year of supervised release, three to six months at a Residential Reentry program, $25 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and ordered to not re-enter the lands of Todd County and the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.

In the summer of 2011, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Attorney General petitioned the tribal court to bar Nichols, a non-Indian, from entering the lands of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. On June 10, 2011, he was served with notice of the proceedings. On September 22, 2011, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court entered an Emergency Writ of Exclusion barring him from entering the lands of the Rosebud Reservation, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council also voted to exclude the Defendant from the reservation. On September 23, 2011, a tribal law enforcement officer served him with the exclusionary order and escorted him off of the reservation.

Tribal law enforcement officers later learned that Nichols had re-entered the reservation. On September 9, 2012, officers apprehended him and again transported him off of the reservation. On January 30, 2013, officers learned Nichols was staying at a residence within the reservation. Officers searched for Nichols and found him hiding in a crawl space of the residence. He was arrested on federal criminal trespass charges and transported off the reservation and into federal custody.

On March 14, 2014, Nichols was in a car near Two Strike when a tribal patrol officer encountered him driving towards St. Francis, which is located within the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. By being on the reservation, the Defendant did defy orders to leave that were previously communicated to him.

The investigation was conducted by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Maher. Nichols was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to complete his sentence.

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