The only Secret Service field office in South Dakota is located in Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city. In addition to its better-known protective mission, the Secret Service investigates all types of financial and economic crimes that occur in the state. These include:
- Counterfeiting of currency
- Access device fraud
- Identity Theft
- False identification fraud
- Bank and check fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Telecommunications fraud (cellular and hardware)
- Computer fraud
- Passport/visa fraud
- Money laundering
- Asset forfeiture
The Secret Service is also an active member of the South Dakota Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC). The partnership between federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies addresses law enforcement needs in South Dakota. The LECC also offers training, information sharing and various programs such as the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the Law Enforcement Intelligence Network.
How to Become a Secret Service Agent in South Dakota
The requirements that must be met to become a Secret Service agent in SD are:
- Bachelor’s degree or better
- Two-three years experience in law enforcement or criminal investigation
- Citizen of the United States
- Between the ages of 21 and 37
- Good health/excellent physical condition
- Able to qualify for a top secret security clearance
- Good moral character
It is best for the college degree to be in a relevant field such as criminal justice, law enforcement administration, homeland security, criminology, finance, etc. There are 15 four-year colleges/universities in South Dakota to choose from. Approximately 173 South Dakota students graduate each year with a degree in criminal justice.
South Dakota Secret Service Training Requirements
All new Secret Service recruits spend time training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Gynco, Georgia followed by 14 weeks at the James J. Rowley Training Center just outside Washington, D.C. Courses at the Rowley Center include:
- Firearms Marksmanship
- Use of Force/Control Tactics
- Financial Crime Detection
- Physical Site and Event Protection
Recent Secret Service Successes in South Dakota
A Secret Service investigation resulted in the January 14, 2014 sentencing of a Minnesota man to 24 months in prison for passing four counterfeit $50 American Express traveler’s checks at a store in Sioux Falls SD. His jail time will be followed by three years supervised release and $1,200 restitution to the victims.
A rash of $10 and $20 counterfeit bills passed at Sioux Falls gas stations, casinos, drug stores and fast food restaurants in December of 2013 has precipitated an intense investigation by Sioux Falls Secret Service agents who are currently studying surveillance videos at the targeted establishments. It is not yet known if the counterfeits are the work of one or several perpetrators.
On February 4, 2013, Jeffrey Welsh of Hot Springs, SD ended a Secret Service investigation by pleading guilty to charges of passing $20 counterfeit bills at a variety of retail stores in Rapid City SD. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
On January 12, 2013, Dennis Tyle Guiterrez, aka “Crow Shoe,” was sentenced to prison for attempting to pass a $100 counterfeit bill to buy beer during a July “Days of Celebration” in Timber Lake. His capture was the result of a joint investigation by the SD Secret Service and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement.