La Crosse Man Sentenced to 2 ½ Years for Possessing Stolen Firearm as a Felon

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Briante Banks, 31, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 2 ½ years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. Banks pleaded guilty to this charge on February 6, 2024. He was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release.

On May 2, 2023, Banks was arrested for violating the conditions of his state probation. During a post-arrest search, Banks was found to be in possession of a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. Law enforcement determined that the handgun had previously been stolen from a La Crosse area gun shop. Banks is legally prohibited from possessing firearms because he has prior felony convictions for drug trafficking.

At sentencing, Judge Conley noted that Banks has been under state supervision since 2014 and has largely failed to comply. Judge Conley told Banks that he had so far failed to learn any lessons from his past and unless he made good use of his time in prison and engaged with his supervising probation officer after release, he would likely end up back in prison. 

The charge against Banks was the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department; La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan 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 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.

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