Madison Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Drug & Gun Crimes
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that defendant Darius Howard, 22, Madison, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 15 years in prison, followed by a six-year term of supervised release, for possessing cocaine with intent to distribute it and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Howard pleaded guilty to these offenses on November 13, 2012.
On May 15, 2012, Howard and others were involved in a violent, armed home invasion in Madison. A neighbor called law enforcement and provided the license plate of the vehicle associated with the armed intruders. The Fitchburg Police Department, meanwhile, had an outstanding warrant for Marcus Johnson’s arrest. Shortly after the home invasion, Fitchburg officers were looking for Johnson at an apartment complex. Johnson arrived, driving his girlfriend’s van. Howard, Christopher Carthans, and another individual were with Johnson.
While the officers were arresting Johnson, Carthans fled and threw a pistol in a dumpster. Carthans was caught nearby and confessed to throwing the firearm in the dumpster. Officers also located a black 9mm pistol in the van. It was wrapped in a bloody t-shirt. Darius Howard admitting wrapping the gun in the t-shirt, and he had a 14 gram chunk of cocaine in his pocket which he admitted he was going to distribute.
In choosing a 15-year sentence for Howard, Judge Crabb repeatedly stated that the community needed to be protected from him. Howard has a prior conviction for substantial battery and he is scheduled to plead guilty in Dane County Circuit Court on January 31, 2013, for his involvement in the home invasion, as well as his involvement in another shooting. Judge Crabb ordered Howard's 15-year sentence to run consecutively to any sentence(s) he receives in those cases.
Marcus Johnson has also been charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, and he is pending trial. On January 9, 2013, Judge Crabb sentenced Carthans to five years in prison.
The charges against Howard were the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison Police Department, Fitchburg Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.