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Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime News

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Willie Champ, 19, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 150 months for two gun charges and 11 robberies.   Champ pleaded guilty to these charges on October 30, 2019.

Between June 2018 and May 2019, Champ robbed eleven convenience and liquor stores in Madison, Fitchburg, and Oregon, Wisconsin.  During 10 of those robberies, he brandished guns.  After the last robbery, police stopped his vehicle and recovered a realistic looking AK-47 type airsoft gun that was used in five of the robberies.  Police later searched his residence where they found a Taurus 9mm pistol that was used in four of the robberies.

In addition to the robbery charges, Champ was charged with brandishing and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.  These gun charges carried a mandatory minimum of 12 years in federal prison.  Champ was sentenced to an additional six months for the robberies.

At sentencing, Judge Conley noted the severity of these crimes, calling them terrifying offenses in which Champ targeted these businesses.  Judge Conley recognized the effect of these crimes on the victims who experienced this violence and society as a whole living now in increased fear.  Champ also faces charges for an additional nine robbery offenses in Dane County Circuit Court.

The charges against Champ were the result of an investigation conducted by the Madison, Fitchburg, Oregon, and Town of Madison Police Departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and with the assistance of the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan handled the prosecution.

This indictment 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 crimes and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms. 

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