DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 20, 2015
John W. Vaudreuil
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rita M. Rumbelow

Armed Robber Sentenced to 24 Years in Federal Prison

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that James Sexton, 35, Madison, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 24 years in federal prison, followed by a five-year term of supervised release, for committing five armed robberies of businesses in the Madison area in 2014. Sexton pleaded guilty to these charges on June 4, 2015.

Sexton was sentenced for committing the following five armed robberies:

  1. 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.

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 faced a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years for brandishing a firearm during the Market Basket robbery, followed by an advisory guideline range sentence of 188 – 235 months for the robberies. Sexton asked for an 87-month sentence for the robberies, and Judge Crabb declined, stating:

“You terrified the people you robbed. The idea of being an employee working United States Attorney John W. Vaudreuil Western District of Wisconsin when someone comes in the store with a gun…it is so terrifying. They had no idea if you were going to shoot them. It is incomprehensible how you could have caused that much terror. You are an extreme danger to society because you committed serious crimes for small amounts of money.”

Sexton was also ordered to pay $4,100 in restitution.

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 the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

 # # # #

St. Paul Field Division