Adams County Man Sentenced to 57 Months for Illegal Gun Possession

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Charles Leofilos, 34, Grand Marsh, Wisconsin was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 57 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. This prison term will be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Leofilos pleaded guilty to this charge on July 1, 2022.

On March 15, 2021, officers with the La Crosse Police Department stopped a car driven by Leofilos for a traffic violation. A police canine alerted officers to the presence of controlled substances and officers searched the car. Officers found a handgun containing a loaded magazine concealed behind the steering wheel, as well as heroin hidden in a separate compartment below the steering wheel. Leofilos admitted to borrowing the gun as part of plan to confront one of his passengers over a drug dispute, and to taking the heroin as part of the same plan.

Leofilos is prohibited from possessing a firearm as a result of multiple Wisconsin felony convictions, including substantial battery. Following his release from local custody in connection with this case, Leofilos committed his fifth operating while under the influence offense and was sentenced to 24 months in Wisconsin prison.  The sentence in this case will begin afterwards.

In sentencing Leofilos, Judge Conley stated the sentence was justified by the danger implicit in Leofilos’ offense, his lengthy criminal history, his unchecked substance abuse, and prior acts of violence. Judge Conley noted it was “easy to imagine” what could have occurred had officers not stopped Leofilos’ car. Judge Conley also stated that Leofilos posed an ongoing danger to himself, those around him, and the community at large.

The charge against Leofilos was a result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor L. Kraus. 

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.