MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Shoua Lee, 41, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced on Thursday, September 22, by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 24 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a felon. The prison term will be followed by 36 months of supervised release. Lee pleaded guilty to this charge on July 5, 2022.
On July 15, 2020, La Crosse Police Department (LCPD) officers were investigating the drug trafficking activity of Kong Vang and Pader Yang in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Shoua Lee was observed with others at their residence that day. LCPD officers searched the residence and found multiple firearms, including a Hi-Point .40 caliber handgun, and a large quantity of methamphetamine. LCPD discovered a surveillance video from the same residence from two weeks earlier which shows Vang and Lee possessing the same Hi-Point .40 caliber handgun that was seized by LCPD officers.
Lee was prohibited from legally possessing a firearm due to multiple prior felony convictions. He was on state supervision at the time of this offense for, among other things, possession of a firearm by a felon and marijuana trafficking. Lee’s state supervision has since been revoked and he is currently serving three years in state prison with an anticipated release date of August 13, 2023.
At sentencing, Judge Conley highlighted several aggravating factors including Lee’s possession of a firearm while using methamphetamine, that he possessed a gun less than six months after being sentenced for a similar charge, and a prior criminal history that included prison time for drug trafficking.
Co-defendant, Kong Vang, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison by Judge Conley on April 29, 2021. Co-defendant, Pader Yang, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison by Judge Conley on May 14, 2021.
The charge against Lee was the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson prosecuted this case.
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.