DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 1, 2016
John W. Vaudreuil
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth Altman

Elmwood Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Gun Crime

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Benjamin Winters, 35, Elmwood, Wis., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge James Peterson to six years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, with credit for 17 months for time spent in state custody on a revocation sentence related to this charge. Winters pleaded guilty to this charge on July 18, 2016.

On August 23, 2014, Eau Claire police officers attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by Winters. Winters failed to stop and fled the scene. Following a short chase, Winters abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. The car was searched and inside the vehicle, officers found a .22 caliber pistol which Winters later admitted to possessing.

Winters requested a sentence of probation but Judge Peterson declined that request based in part on the defendant’s lengthy criminal history. Because the defendant has committed violent crimes in the past, Judge Peterson determined that the need to protect the public was important.

The charge against Winters was the result of an investigation conducted by the Eau Claire County, Dunn County, and Chippewa County Sheriffs’ Offices, the Eau Claire Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

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St. Paul Field Division