Three charged after late-night traffic stop finds stolen gun, drugs in Sioux Falls

Two of the men were on parole for previous felony convictions, and could be found in violation of their terms of release.

SFPD police car.PNG
Sioux Falls Police Department car on Phillips Avenue.
Patrick Lalley / Sioux Falls Live

SIOUX FALLS — Three men are facing felony charges after police say a late night traffic stop discovered drugs and a stolen firearm in a vehicle with two parolees.

At approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, police in Sioux Falls were on regular patrol near the intersection of 14th Street and Main Avenue when they observed a known parolee, 36-year-old Michael Hillmer, of Aberdeen, driving a vehicle. Police spokesman Sam Clemens said the officers were aware that Hillmer’s parole officer was looking for him.

Upon stopping the vehicle, officers identified Hillmer in the driver’s seat, along with two passengers, Joseph Carpenter, 35, of Clear Lake, and Jacob Abdo, 25, of Sioux Falls. Police would later learn that Carpenter was also on parole, Clemens said.

According to the South Dakota Department of Corrections, parolees must submit to search and seizure at any time. Clemens said that in a search of the vehicle, officers discovered a small amount of meth, multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia with drug residue, two firearms and loose bullets.

One of the firearms was reported stolen in September.


Hillmer was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm with a value of under $2,500 and possession of a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison and fines of up to $18,000.

The same charges were lodged against Carpenter, who also was charged with impersonation to deceive after Clemens said Carpenter attempted to provide false information to police. He faces up 10 years in detention facilities and fines of up to $20,000.

Abdo was charged with the firearm and drug charges, but is not a convicted felon, and only faces the two felonies. If convicted, he could be sentenced to serve up to seven years in prison and pay fines of up to $14,000.

All three men are set to appear in the Minnehaha County Courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 12.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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