Former Trooper Sentenced To Five Years


He took nearly $70,000 in drug seizure money over a four-year period. Now, a former South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper has been sentenced for the crime.

Inside the Brule County Courthouse on Friday, former South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper Brian Biehl of Platte learned his fate for grand theft by law enforcement. Judge Timothy Bjorkman sentenced Biehl to five years in prison, along with a $10,000 fine.

In early February Biehl pleaded guilty to stealing drug seizure money. According to court papers, Biehl stole almost $70,000 between May 2012 and October 2016.

“I think Judge Bjorkman just did a very thoughtful, thorough examination of the situation, and handed out the sentence that he felt best fit the situation,” Brule County State’s Attorney David Natvig said.

Inside the courtroom, the defense, prosecution and Biehl addressed Judge Bjorkman. Defense attorney Scott Swier noted that Biehl was still sitting on Platte’s school board. After the sentencing, Swier declined comment.

Also present was Erik Hickey of Brule County, who said he had been pulled over by Biehl in 2014.

“I was surprised by the judge’s ruling,” Hickey said. “I didn’t think that there would be any jail time at all.” 

But he supports the judge’s decision.

“I feel that it was appropriate. I had a similar class felony, and I was in jail myself,” Hickey said.

The prosecution singled out the Division of Criminal Investigation for praise after the sentencing.

“I just would like to thank the Division of Criminal Investigation for their prompt action within hours of the time that we found out about this situation,” Natvig said.

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