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Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 2, 2018
Scott C. Blader
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rita Rumbelow

Indiana Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Armed Robbery

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Doran Skanes, 25, East Chicago, Indiana, and William Thomas, 18, West Bend, Indiana were sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson for their roles in the armed robbery of a T-Mobile Cellular Store in Madison. On May 9 and 10, 2018, respectively, Skanes and Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiring to rob a business and to brandishing a firearm during that robbery. 


During the January 12, 2018 robbery, employees of the store were directed to lay on the floor at gunpoint, while Steven Gayden, Thomas and Skanes stole cellular telephones, SIM cards, and cash.  Skanes brandished the firearm, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.  On July 11, 2018, co-conspirator Gayden also received a nine-year sentence.  Thomas, whom Judge Peterson held was manipulated into committing the robbery, was sentenced to seven years in prison.  Skanes, Thomas, and Gayden were all subject to seven-year mandatory minimum sentences because they participated in a robbery knowing a firearm would be brandished.  


Judge Peterson rejected Skanes’ request for a lower sentence, finding that “an armed robbery is so terrorizing to the victims and to the community.”


The charges against Gayden, Thomas and Skanes are the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.


This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.


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St. Paul Field Division