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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 9, 2016

Man Sentenced to 19 years for Attempted Armed Robbery

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that James G. Wheeler (age 30) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Pamela Pepper to 228 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the November 18, 2014 attempted armed robbery of Bouchards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The attempted armed robbery was committed by two masked men, both of whom were armed with handguns.

Wheeler pled guilty to attempted armed Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.  During the attempted armed robbery of the store, Wheeler shot the co-owner of the store in his chest, causing life-threatening injuries.  Wheeler’s co-actor, Deangelo Garcia, pled guilty to attempted armed Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and was sentenced by the Honorable Judge J.P. Stadtmueller to 150 months’ imprisonment.  The Hobbs Act, passed by Congress in 1946, provides federal jurisdiction for cases involving violent criminals who commit armed robbery of businesses involved in interstate commerce.

Wheeler was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in federal court and was sentenced by the Honorable Judge J.P. Stadtmueller to 4 years’ imprisonment for that conduct.

According to United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad: “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to addressing violent crime in this district and will continue to prosecute and seek substantial prison sentences for those who use firearms in the commission of crimes.” Haanstad also emphasized that “the successful prosecution of this important case was the result of a collaborative law enforcement effort by the Milwaukee Area Violent Crime Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Milwaukee Police Department.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Milwaukee Division, Vadim Thomas said: “The FBI prioritizes these types of investigations and works collaboratively with MPD to identify the offenders and bring them to justice.  We all work together to make our community a safe place.”

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura S. Kwaterski.

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Updated September 9, 2016