United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, woman convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person was sentenced on July 20, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.
Journey Austin, age 24, was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, forfeiture of firearms and ammunition, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.
Austin was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 9, 2020. She pled guilty on May 6, 2020.
The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on November 12, 2019. Following a routine traffic stop, law enforcement found and seized firearms and ammunition from the car. Austin admitted being a user of and addicted to a controlled substance, methamphetamine, making it illegal for her to possess firearms. Austin’s DNA was located on the magazine of one of the firearms. Austin will forfeit ownership of the firearms and ammunition seized in this case to the United States.
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. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
This case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Elmore prosecuted the case.
Austin was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.