For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 6, 2019
, United States Attorney
Scott C. Blader
Contact: Corey C. Stephan
Merrill Man Charged with Gun Crimes
St. Paul Field Division
MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Douglas P. Bannister, 37, Merrill, Wisconsin, with being a felon in possession of a firearm and illegally possessing a silencer.
The sealed indictment was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury and an arrest warrant was issued for Bannister. He was arrested in Merrill yesterday afternoon. He made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison today, and was ordered to remain in custody pending a detention hearing, which has not been scheduled.
The indictment alleges that on December 11, 2018, Bannister, knowing he had previously been convicted of a felony, possessed an Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 lower receiver. The receiver is the part of a firearm which provides housing for internal components. For the purposes of federal law, the receiver is legally the firearm. The indictment also charges that on December 11, 2018, Bannister possessed a silencer not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
If convicted, Bannister faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each charge. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey C. Stephan.
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 involves collaboration by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.
You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.