DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 18, 2023
Timothy M. O’Shea
, United States Attorney

Middleton Man Sentenced to 32 Months for Illegal Gun Possession

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Johnluke Spears, 32, Middleton, Wisconsin was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 32 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Spears pleaded guilty to this charge on April 12, 2023.

On November 27, 2021, there was a shooting in the parking lot of Monkeyshines Bar in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. One person was shot, and surveillance video showed the injured person and his friend involved in a confrontation with another group. The injured person exchanged gunfire with at least one person in the other group.

During the subsequent investigation, officers determined that Spears had been standing next to one of the shooters. In December 2021, detectives executed a search warrant at Spears’ residence and found a loaded Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun, which is consistent with casings found at the shooting scene. Spears’ DNA was found on that handgun. Spears is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.

At sentencing, Judge Peterson concluded that Spears is a “hard core gang guy” and, while he did not fire the shots at Monkeyshines, he hung around with friends who were involved in gun violence. Judge Peterson noted that the Glock .40 caliber handgun found in Spears’ apartment had a switch (which converted it to a machine gun) and drum magazine capable of holding 40 to 50 rounds making it very dangerous. Finally, Judge Peterson commented that Spears was on supervision for a prior weapons offense out of Illinois. Spears’ supervision on the Illinois case was revoked and Judge Peterson ordered the 32-month federal sentence to run concurrently with the 10 months remaining on Spears’ sentence in that Illinois case. The federal sentence imposed today will be followed by three years of supervised release.

The charge against Spears was the result of an investigation conducted by the Fitchburg Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan 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.


St. Paul Field Division