PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) An Eagle Butte man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to spend a total of 20 years in prison-in addition to a 25 year sentence he received in Hughes County last week. 28-year-old Jason Garreau appeared at the federal courthouse in Pierre yesterday to hear his punishment for a guilty plea to charges of Assault of Federal Officers and Discharge of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. 17 other federal counts were dismissed. Garreau was arrested and charged after a standoff at a Pierre home October 31-where he kept law enforcement at bay for about nine hours. When officers entered the trailer, Garreau fired shots, one of which struck a Pierre Police Officer in his bullet proof vest-injuring the officer. A week ago, Garreau was sentenced at the Hughes County Courthouse for his guilty plea to Attempted First Degree Murder.
The October 31 standoff followed a chase the previous day between Pierre and the Fort Thompson area in which law officers pursued a vehicle being driven by Garreau. Garreau’s cousin John Garreau became involved in the incident when he arrived in a separate vehicle to the area of the pursuit and Jason Garreau was able to get away. John Garreau fired several shots at three law officers. He was killed in a shootout. Jason Garreau eventually arrived back in Pierre and was involved in the standoff the next day.
During yesterday’s sentencing, several members of law enforcement, along with family and friends of Jason Garreau were in the courtroom. Though Garreau had summoned his cousin by phone to help him during the October 30 pursuit , Garreau’s attorney, Ed Albright, said his client didn’t know that John Garreau would fire at officers. Garreau said before his sentence was pronounced that the vehicle he was driving was in bad shape and that he only intended to jump into his cousin’s vehicle to flee. He apologized to the Pierre Police Officer who was hit by a shot during the standoff in Pierre saying he didn’t intend for the situation to turn out like it did.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Dilges said many attempts had been made by law enforcement to get Garreau to surrender during the October 31 standoff. She said that at no time did law officers return Garreau’s gunfire and that its fortunate that no officers were badly hurt or killed that day.
Judge Roberto Lange said Garreau is a bright person and has the ability to impress people, but is criminally deviant and clearly disrespectful of law enforcement. Lange said Garreau’s case involved completely unneccessary behavior that was extremely dangerous. He said the only silver lining was that none of the officers involved was seriously hurt. Since restitution was set in state court last week, Lange did not order any for the federal charges.
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