United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Highmore, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Sale or Transfer of Firearms to a Prohibited Person, and False Statements During Purchase of a Firearm.
Elissa May Schultz, age 40, was indicted on October 14, 2020. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on January 21, 2021, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on August 27, 2020, at Highmore, Schultz knowingly possessed a firearm while being an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance. Schultz is also charged with making false or fictitious statements on ATF 4473 forms, while purchasing firearms on March 5, 2019, and January 24, 2020. Schultz is further charged with transferring firearms to a prohibited person on January 24, 2020.
The charges are merely accusations and Schultz is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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.
The investigation is being conducted by the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Elmore is prosecuting the case.
Schultz was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not been set.