Hanson County man prosecuted for illegal gun possessionALEXANDRIA — A rural Hanson County man has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with a prior violent crime conviction.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
ALEXANDRIA — A rural Hanson County man has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with a prior violent crime conviction.
Wade Forrest Peterson, 36, was arrested Oct. 15 after law enforcement searched his residence, located at 41659 Highway 42, about 10 miles southwest of Alexandria.
Officers found four guns inside Peterson’s home: a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Lorcin 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, .40-caliber Hi-Point handgun and a New England single shot rifle/shotgun with a .22-caliber rifle barrel and a .410-gauge shotgun barrel, court documents say. A small amount of marijuana was also found inside the home.
Agencies involved in the search were the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Hanson County Sheriff’s Office and James Valley Drug Task Force.
Court documents filed in November charged Peterson with four counts of possessing a firearm with a prior violent crime conviction — one count for each weapon found in his home. Each count is a felony with a maximum punishment of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine. He was also charged with possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana, a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Peterson pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to one count of firearm possession and one count of marijuana possession. The three remaining counts of firearm possession were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, and Peterson will not be charged as a habitual offender, according to Hanson County Deputy State’s Attorney Doug Papendick.
Peterson faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
In 1996, Peterson was convicted of aggravated assault in Aurora County, according to a criminal record obtained by The Daily Republic from the state Unified Judicial System. He received a suspended two-year prison sentence, was fined $1,000 and was put on probation for five years. He was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the Plankinton Fire Department.
In South Dakota, anyone convicted of a violent offense, such as aggravated assault, is not allowed to possess a firearm for a 15-year period after they are convicted.
The aggravated assault conviction is Peterson’s only prior felony, but he has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for drunken driving, simple assault, disorderly conduct and petty theft.
Peterson is scheduled to be sentenced in February.