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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Grand Jury Returns Indictments

MADISON, WIS. – A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today.  You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Douglas County Man Charged with Robbery & Gun Crimes

Patrick Staton, 29, Maple, Wisconsin, is charged with robbing a Brule, Wisconsin business and with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  The indictment alleges that he robbed a Cenex gas station, a business in Brule engaged in interstate commerce, on August 30, 2019.  The indictment further alleges that on September 2, 2019, Staton possessed a .45 caliber revolver and ammunition, a rifle, and a 9mm handgun and ammunition.

If convicted, Staton faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the robbery charge, and a maximum of 10 years on the felon in possession of firearms and ammunition charge.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Superior Police Department; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; St. Louis County (Minn.) Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Kraus is handling the prosecution.

Minnesota Man Charged with Robbery of River Falls Business

Larry Darnell Armstrong, 49, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with robbing North Town Cleaners, a business engaged in interstate commerce in River Falls, Wisconsin, on June 13, 2019.  The indictment alleges that Armstrong’s accomplice brandished a firearm during the robbery. 

If convicted, Armstrong faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the River Falls Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita Rumbelow is handling the prosecution.

Rock County Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearms

Austin L. Hedges, 24, Clinton, Wisconsin, is charged with possessing firearms after previously being committed to a mental institution.  The indictment alleges that on October 9, 2019, he possessed three handguns, three rifles, and a shotgun.

Hedges was charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on October 9, 2019, with illegally possessing one firearm knowing he had previously been committed to a mental institution.  He was arrested and made an initial appearance in federal court that day.  He was released from custody following a detention hearing on October 11. 

If convicted, Hedges faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Clinton and St. Francis Police Departments; and Rock County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.

Madison Man Charged with Drug & Gun Crimes

Donte Moore, 32, Madison, Wisconsin, is charged with distributing heroin and fentanyl, possessing heroin and fentanyl with intent to distribute, possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  The indictment alleges that Moore distributed a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl on four occasions in August and September 2019.  The indictment also alleges that on October 9, 2019, he possessed 40 grams or more of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute, and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute.  The indictment also alleges that on October 9, 2019, Moore possessed a .40 caliber handgun and ammunition.

If convicted, Moore faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each of the four distribution charges.  The charge alleging 40 grams or more of a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl, and the charge alleging 28 grams or more of crack cocaine each carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years.  The felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.  The charges against Moore are the result of an investigation by the Dane County Narcotics Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Corey is handling the prosecution.

These indictments against these individuals have 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 crimes and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms. 

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated November 6, 2019