Seven receive federal sentences

Seven people received federal prison sentences from U.S. district judges in South Dakota in recent days.

Daniel Hess, 44, of Paramount, California, received 20 years in prison for assault with intent to commit murder and 10 years in prison for assault resulting in serious bodily injury May 15 from U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken.

The judge also ordered three years of supervised release to follow for each crime. Hess, Phyllis Lucero and Seth Hernandez drove to the home of a woman, 73, on Oct. 17, 2015, broke into her house, severely beat her and her adult son and robbed them.

Megan Azure, 31, of Fort Thompson received four months in custody followed by three years of supervised release for head-butting a federal officer while she was incarcerated in the Lower Brule jail.

Azure pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to assaulting, resisting and impeding a federal officer. U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange sentenced her May 15.

Arnold Eagle Bear Jr., 34, of Norris received 15 months in federal custody and five years of supervised release for failure to register as a sex offender. He originally was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in September 2014. That required him to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Eagle Bear began supervised release on the sex conviction June 10, 2016. He initially registered but didn’t keep up his registration. A federal grand jury indicted him Aug. 16 for failure to register. He pleaded guilty March 13. Judge Lange sentenced Eagle Bear on May 15.

Martin Garreau, 23, of Rapid City received a sentence of four months in prison for escape from custody. He was serving part of a federal sentence at Community Alternatives of the Black Hills. He left without permission and failed to return.

Garreau pleaded guilty to the escape charge Feb. 3. Judge Viken sentenced him May 12.

Roger Janis, 47, of Rapid City received a sentence of 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for involuntary manslaughter. Janis pleaded guilty Sept. 9, 2016, to driving over a five-year-old boy at Pine Ridge while Janis was intoxicated.

Judge Viken sentenced Janis on May 12.

Corey Johnson, 31, of Mitchell received sentences of 33 months and 96 months, to run at the same time, followed by three years of supervised release, for convictions from 2015 and 2016 charges of assaulting, resisting and impeding federal officers.

Johnson pleaded guilty to both sets of charges Feb. 21, 2017. Judge Lange sentenced Johnson on May 15.

Tyree Yellow Elk, 22, of Murdo received seven years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession of child pornography.

Yellow Elk pleaded guilty Jan. 13, 2017. He was accused of receiving and distributing multiple images of child pornography between March 2014 and July 2016. Judge Viken sentenced him May 8.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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