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Two men deny charges of taking 24 firearms in South Dakota gun shop burglary


RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Two Rapid City men have entered not guilty pleas in federal court to stealing 24 firearms from a city gun shop last week.

Matthew Keifer, 30, and Zephaniah Thompson, 28, were charged on Aug. 24, just two days after the nighttime burglary at the The Rooster gun shop. They entered their pleas on Monday, Aug. 27.

They are charged with theft of a firearm, possession of stolen firearms and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

They face a penalty of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

This case is part of a new Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safe.  The effort is starting in South Dakota in Rapid city. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the department’s focus on targeting violent criminals and directing all U.S. Attorney’s offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Keifer and Thompson were detained pending a preliminary hearing.  A trial date has not been set.