For Immediate Release
Madison Man Sentenced to 72 Months for Illegal Gun Possession
MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Zendel Rolack, 26, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 72 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. This prison term will be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Rolack pleaded guilty to this offense on March 1, 2023.
The Fitchburg Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence in Oregon, Wisconsin on October 5, 2021, as part of an investigation of a shooting that occurred in Fitchburg on September 29, 2021. At the residence, officers arrested Rolack and the shooting suspect, Alexander Jefferson-Cooper. During a search of a room being used by Rolack as a bedroom, officers located multiple firearms, extra ammunition, firearm magazines, and controlled substances.
DNA testing confirmed the presence of Rolack’s DNA on three of the recovered firearms and the packaging material of some of the controlled substances. A search of Rolack’s phone revealed photos of him with additional firearms, and text messages consistent with drug distribution. One of the other firearms recovered was found to be the firearm used in the September 29, 2021 shooting.
At the time of the offense in this case, Rolack was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of multiple felony convictions, including a 2016 conviction for armed robbery and a 2019 conviction for strangulation and battery.
At sentencing, Judge Conley stated a substantial sentence of imprisonment was warranted in light of the Rolack’s history of committing gun offenses and crimes of violence. Judge Conley also noted that Rolack had not responded well to prior sentences of probation.
Jefferson-Cooper was charged in connection with the September 29, 2021 shooting in Dane County Case 2022CF811 and was sentenced to 6 months in jail on November 29, 2022. He was also charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and on January 19, 2023, Judge Conley sentenced Jefferson-Cooper to 60 months in prison.
The charges against Rolack and Jefferson-Cooper were the result of an investigation conducted by the Fitchburg Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor L. Kraus prosecuted this case.
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.