Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Jury Finds Pierce County Man Guilty of Gun Crimes
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Michael Allan Hancock, 41, Pierce County, Wis., was found guilty of two gun crimes after a two-day trial in U.S. District Court in Madison. Hancock was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a J.C. Higgins 20 gauge shotgun, and of possessing a sawed-off shotgun. The jury reached their verdict this afternoon after approximately two hours of deliberation.
According to the testimony at trial, a search warrant was executed in August 2013 on a Pierce County property. In the course of the search, law enforcement officials recovered a sawed-off shotgun in a camper in which Hancock stayed as a caretaker for the property.
Testimony also included recordings of Hancock stating he was entitled to have the sawed-off shotgun to protect himself from black bears. The property owner testified that in the 20 years during which he has owned the property, he had never seen a black bear. Sentencing is scheduled for March 26, 2015. Hancock faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison on each count.
The conviction of Hancock is the result of an investigation by the Pierce and St. Croix County Sheriffs’ Departments, Prescott Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Burke and Munish Sharda.