For Immediate Release
Fitchburg Man Sentenced to 56 Months for Illegal Gun Possession
MADISON, Wis. — Timothy M. O’Shea, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Wayne Nance, Jr., aka "Wayne Evangelista," 44, of Fitchburg, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 56 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Nance pleaded guilty to this charge on Jan. 6.
In the spring of 2022, two citizen witnesses reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that Nance was committing gun crimes. The witnesses both met Nance at an area shooting range and he falsely claimed that he had a federal firearms license (FFL), saying that he had law enforcement letters that allowed him to legally manufacture machine guns and suppressors, also known as silencers. The witnesses both initially believed Nance and assisted him in making and testing firearms suppressors. However, they soon began to doubt his story when one learned that Nance’s purported firearms license was actually registered to a different business in another state.
On May 4, 2022, ATF agents executed a search warrant at Nance’s residence in Fitchburg, and they found two 9mm handguns in Nance’s bedroom. In a basement workshop, agents found tools and supplies to manufacture firearms and suppressors, the fraudulent FFL, illegal suppressors and 22 firearms.
In 2014 Nance was convicted in the District of Connecticut of illegally possessing a firearm as a felon. In that case he was sentenced to 63 months in prison.
At sentencing, Judge Conley found that Nance had an extensive criminal history with a longstanding pattern of fraud, manipulation and firearms possession. Judge Conley said that after serving his previous federal firearms sentence, Nance started to accumulate guns, joined a local gun club and began manufacturing and test firing suppressors. Judge Conley concluded by saying that Nance had a hardened and cynical mindset. Nance was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release.
The charge against Nance was the result of an investigation conducted by the ATF. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan.
This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.