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Date: 06-24-2022

Case Style:

United States of America v. James McGowan, Jr.

Case Number: 3:21-cr-00107-jdp

Judge: James Peterson

Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Dane County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Madison, Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On September 20, 2021, James McGowan, age 23, Madison, Wisconsin, was a convicted felon and had been released on bail in four state cases with charges including felon in possession of a firearm, felony bail jumping, armed robbery, drug possession, and third-degree sexual assault. Madison police officers were looking for McGowan because he had multiple warrants for his arrest and located him in an apartment parking garage. McGowan attempted to flee from the officers, resisted arrest, and had a loaded 9mm handgun in his waistband.

At sentencing Judge Peterson said that keeping McGowan in the community has not been effective, and that protection of the public was the main sentencing goal. The court observed that by illegally carrying a gun, McGowan was contributing to the risk of petty disputes turning into shootings that can injure or kill those involved as well as bystanders. Judge Peterson said that the person described in the presentence report hurts people, and sentenced McGowan to 2 years in prison consecutive to the sentences in his state cases. After his prison term, McGowan was also ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release.

The charge against McGowan was the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan.

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 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.


Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

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