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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
For Immediate Release
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney
Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Rochester, Minnesota Man Sentenced to 2 Years for Illegal Gun Possession

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Rayshawn Earl Motley, 32, Rochester, Minnesota was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to two years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Motley pleaded guilty to this charge on September 20, 2022.

On June 21, 2021, La Crosse police officers stopped a car that Motley was driving.  After noticing an odor of marijuana in the car, officers searched the car finding a loaded Smith & Wesson .380 handgun hidden in the center console.  While Motley denied knowing about the handgun, a subsequent lab analysis determined that his DNA was on it.

In 2012 Motley was convicted of felony drug trafficking in Rochester, Minnesota, and sentenced to prison.  Motley also has pending drug trafficking charges out of St. Louis County, Minnesota.

At sentencing, Judge Conley remarked that Motley had not broken from his past history of drug involvement, and that possession of a gun by a known drug trafficker presented an increased risk of violence to the community.  Judge Conley ordered three years of supervised release to follow the prison term.

The charge against Motley was the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


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