For Immediate Release
Friendship Man Sentenced to 90 Months in Federal Prison for Gun Charge
MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Michael Westfahl, 38, Friendship, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 90 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms. Westfahl pleaded guilty this offense on August 7, 2019.
Westfahl was suspected of stealing firearms during several residential burglaries in Adams and Wood Counties. On December 21, 2018, law enforcement attempted to arrest him at a motel in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Westfahl refused to come out of the room, leading to a 90-minute standoff with SWAT teams. After Westfahl eventually surrendered, detectives found a loaded AR-15 rifle and two handguns in the room. Westfahl was a convicted felon on supervision after being released from state prison.
At sentencing, Judge Conley remarked that Westfahl had been under correctional supervision since 2001 and continued to commit crimes. Judge Conley said that the record gave “little confidence his behavior will change,” noted the severity of the standoff, and concluded that a substantial term of imprisonment was warranted.
The charges against Westfahl were the result of an investigation conducted by the Adams and Wood County Sheriffs’ Offices, Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point Police Departments, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Adams, Wood, and Portage County District Attorneys’ Offices assisted in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan handled the prosecution.
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 crimes and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.