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Press Release

Three Charged with Stealing Firearms from La Crosse County Gun Shop

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

MADISON, WIS. – Three men are charged with stealing firearms from a business located in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, in an indictment returned on June 28, 2023 by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison, Wisconsin.  The indictment is announced by Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The indictment charges Robert E. Benson, 18, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Mackey K. Drake, 22, also of La Crosse, and Nehemiah J. Sample, 26, Trempealeau, Wisconsin with stealing 41 firearms from a federally licensed firearms business located in the Village of Rockland, Wisconsin.  The indictment alleges that the firearms were stolen on April 25, 2023.  The indictment also charges Drake with being a felon in possession of firearms. 

Benson is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison today.  The initial appearances of Drake and Sample have not been scheduled.

If convicted, Benson, Drake, and Sample each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the charge of stealing the firearms.  Drake also faces a maximum penalty of 15 years on the felon in possession of firearms charge.  The charges against them are the result of an investigation by the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Village (Arkansas) Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan is handling the prosecution.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated June 30, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods