DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 4, 2015
John W. Vaudreuil
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rita Rumbelow

Armed Robber Pleads Guilty to Robbing Five Madison Businesses in 2014

MADISON, WIS. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that today James Sexton, 34, Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Madison to committing five armed robberies of businesses.

Sexton admitted that he robbed the following Madison businesses in 2014:

  1. Pizza Extreme on Monroe Street, on April 29;
  2. Burrito Drive on Brearly Street, on May 4;
  3. Players Sports Bar and Grill on Winnebago Street, on May 7;
  4. Toppers Pizza on Mineral Point Road, on May 13; and
  5. Market Basket on Mifflin Street, on May 15.

At today’s plea hearing, Sexton admitted that during each robbery, a handgun was brandished. He also admitted that during the Burrito Drive and Players Sports Bar and Grill robberies, his accomplice sprayed an unknown chemical at the employees or patrons of these businesses, and that during the Toppers Pizza robbery, the accomplice displayed a canister containing an unknown chemical.

Sexton committed the Market Basket robbery by himself and he also pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during that robbery. An external surveillance video from a nearby neighbor helped law enforcement identify the car used in the robbery, and that led to Sexton being identified as the robber.

Sexton faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each armed robbery. The charge of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in federal prison, to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the corresponding robbery. Judge Crabb scheduled sentencing for August 20, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

The charges against Sexton were the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.


St. Paul Field Division