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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 9, 2023

La Crosse Man Sentenced to 29 Months for Unlawfully Possessing Firearm

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Anthony James, 39, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 29 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony. James pleaded guilty to this charge on February 10, 2023.

On April 3, 2022, a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle driven by James in La Crosse County for suspended registration and illegal window tint. The trooper noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the car and conducted a search of the vehicle. During the search, the trooper recovered a .22 caliber Sterling handgun from a lockbox that was opened using a key from James’ keyring that was in the ignition of the car.

James’s prior felony convictions include a 2018 conviction in Sheboygan County for felony strangulation/suffocation and Illinois felony convictions for forgery and retail theft. James also was under state supervision for prior convictions in Kenosha and Ozaukee Counties at the time of his arrest.

At sentencing, Judge Peterson acknowledged that aggravating factors in determining a sentence were James’s voluminous criminal history and, specifically, his domestic abuse related strangulation conviction in 2018, which raised special concern about his unlawful possession of a firearm. However, the judge considered that the gun was not loaded, in a locked container, and was not used or possessed in connection with any other offense.

The charge against James was the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson prosecuted this case.

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