MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Antwan Taylor, 28, La Crosse, Wisconsin was sentenced today by U.S. Chief District Judge James D. Peterson to 5 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. This prison term will be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Taylor pleaded guilty to this charge on September 13, 2021.
On the night of August 24, 2020, La Crosse Police Department officers responded to a shots-fired complaint in La Crosse. Officers learned that multiple gunshots were fired from a gray minivan towards a blue sedan. Multiple residents reported bullet hole damage to their homes from the shooting including into a bedroom that was occupied at the time.
The next day, officers conducted a traffic stop on the gray minivan involved in the drive-by shooting. Taylor was one of the occupants in the minivan at the time of the stop. Officers searched the minivan and found a loaded Taurus 9mm handgun in the center console. Officers also found a spent 9mm shell casing under the driver’s seat. The Taurus handgun was identified as the same firearm used in the drive-by shooting the night before. The investigation revealed that the shooting was done at the direction of Taylor and occurred because of a “beef” he had with others. The Taurus was sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for DNA analysis and Taylor’s DNA was found on the firearm.
Taylor was prohibited from possessing a firearm based on multiple prior felony convictions. His criminal history includes convictions for drug trafficking and battery.
At sentencing, Judge Peterson noted that this case was not just about simple illegal gun possession but involved a shooting which made it a more serious crime. Judge Peterson expressed concern about the risk posed to others in the community by shootings involving spraying bullets.
The charge against Taylor was the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The La Crosse County District Attorney’s Office also provided assistance in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson prosecuted this case.
This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach involves collaboration by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.