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Press Release

Chicago Felon Sentenced to 42 Months for Gun Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Aaron T. Washington, 25, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 42 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  Washington pleaded guilty to the charge on April 15, 2019. 

On December 31, 2018, at 6:00 pm, on December 31, 2018, Washington attempted to rob a customer outside of a Kwik Trip on Madison’s east side. The intended victim refused to give Washington money, and the victim went back into the Kwik Trip.  The Madison Police Department was called and they had Kwik Trip play their interior videos for them.  Close-up photographs of the robber showed the distinct tattoos on Washington’s face. 

Madison police officers traced footprints in the snow to a nearby first-floor apartment, where they located Washington. A subsequent search of the apartment led to the recovery of a loaded Taurus handgun in the toilet tank.  The Taurus matched the description given by the attempted robbery victim.  Washington was transported to the North District Police Station, where he temporarily escaped from the holding cell.

Washington’s prior felony conviction was for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon/occupied vehicle, in Cook County, Illinois in 2013.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Washington’s range was 27 to 33 months.  The United States asked for a higher sentence, considering the aggravating facts of the offense conduct.  Judge Peterson agreed, and decided that 42 months was an appropriate sentence.

This case was 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. 

The charge against Washington was the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  This prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow. 

Updated June 27, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods