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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Madison Man Sentenced to 26 Months for Illegal Gun Possession

MADISON, Wis. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Shawndale James, 26, Madison, Wisconsin was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 26 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. James pleaded guilty to this charge on June 12, 2023.

On December 21, 2021, Madison police officers stopped a vehicle in which James was a passenger. Officers observed a loaded .40 caliber handgun sticking out from under the seat where James was sitting. James denied that he knew about or touched the gun. The Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory later examined swabs taken from the gun and concluded that James’ DNA matched the DNA found on the gun.

James had prior felony convictions for driving a stolen vehicle and conspiracy to deliver heroin. At the time of his arrest, he was out on bail in a state case charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

At sentencing, Judge Peterson said that James had a substantial criminal history and had to make a choice between spending time with his family or peers who are negative influences on the street. Judge Peterson noted that if James does not make a change now, he is facing a lot more time in prison. Judge Peterson also ordered three years of supervised release to follow the prison term.

The charge against James was the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison 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.


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