For Immediate Release
La Crosse Felon Sentenced to 50 Months in Federal Prison for Possessing Firearm
MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Yovon C. Boyd, 34, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 50 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Boyd pleaded guilty to this charge on November 21, 2019.
On October 16, 2018, at 4:00 a.m., La Crosse police officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance call. When they arrived at the residence, it was dark and they saw Boyd in the front yard sitting in a lawn chair. The officers illuminated the area with flashlights and their body-worn cameras captured Boyd reach into his pocket, pull out a gun, and throw it under the chair. The Bersa .380 pistol was later found there by officers. Boyd was on probation for a felony child abuse conviction.
At sentencing, Judge Conley remarked that Boyd’s gun possession endangered all those present at the residence and the responding police officers. Boyd’s daily use of crack cocaine exacerbated this risk, and Judge Conley said the situation had the potential to turn into an officer-involved shooting with disastrous results. Judge Conley assessed Boyd’s lengthy criminal record, which included six domestic related offenses, and past sentences. Boyd asked for leniency, indicating he was ready to make changes in his life. Judge Conley asked if Boyd had ever given similar speeches to judges before. Boyd admitted that he had. Judge Conley then found that a significant sentence was warranted based on Boyd’s criminal history, drug use, and the seriousness of this offense.
The charge against Boyd were the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan handled the prosecution.
This indictment 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.