News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Career criminal indicted for possessing a nine-millimeter pistol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 44-year-old career criminal was indicted for possessing a nine-millimeter pistol. Michael Dennis Stanke, of Lino Lakes, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The indictment alleges that on March 8, 2012, Stanke possessed the pistol. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, Stanke was arrested in Minnetonka for DUI. Officers found the loaded gun lying on the front passenger seat.

Because he is a felon, Stanke is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior Ramsey County convictions include two counts of third-degree burglary (1989), theft (1989), fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle (1991), theft of a motor vehicle (1993), first-degree assault (2000), and first-degree aggravated robbery (2000). In addition, Stanke was convicted in Hennepin County for theft in 1996 and Dakota County for theft of a motor vehicle in 1997.

Since at least three of those offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case, if Stanke is found guilty, will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. Since the federal system does not have parole, offenders spend virtually their entire prison sentences behind bars. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Minnetonka Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter.

Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), an initiative launched by the
U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to
reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and
crime prevention partnerships that work to make our communities safer.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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