The chief federal prosecutor in South Dakota is calling it quits.
U-S Attorney Dennis Holmes is retiring after more than 43 years as an attorney and prosecutor, all in South Dakota and the last 19 as chief of the criminal section of the U-S Attorney’s Office.
Holmes has been the U-S Attorney for the state since February of last year, first on an acting basis for 10 months after the resignation of Ron Parsons and then under a 120-day appointment last December by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The U-S District Court will appoint an interim successor this Friday, but Holmes has agreed to remain with the U-S Attorney’s office for a period of time for a smooth transition.
A Custer native, Holmes began his career as a prosecutor in 1978 as an intern with the Pennington County State’s Attorney while still in law school at the University of South Dakota.
He joined the office of newly-elected Attorney General Mark Meierhenry the following spring and was Chief Deputy 9 years later when he left for the U-S attorney’s office in Pierre.
During his 34 years as a federal prosecutor, Holmes handled a wide range of federal criminal cases from violent crimes to tax fraud to large drug conspiracies, and environmental crimes.
Holmes was recognized for his work many times over the years including the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by an Assistant U-S Attorney and the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Prosecutor of the year Award.