MADISON, WIS. (USDOJ.Today) Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Tahjmalyk Porter, 24, Middleton, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James Peterson to two years of probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On November 12, 2019, Porter was in an area gun store and seen on video handling a semiautomatic rifle. Several days later Porter was captured on video in another area gun store handling firearms there as well. Porter was a felon based on a 2017 conviction for strangulation in Dane County Circuit Court.
Judge Peterson stated that he was concerned that Porter was associating with individuals who were making straw purchases of firearms and selling them in the community. The Court noted the alarming number of shootings in Madison recently and the “extraordinary risk” posed by illegal possession and use of firearms. Judge Peterson also noted Porter’s criminal history including a conviction for domestic violence and a positive drug test which was a violation of his pretrial release. Despite those concerns however, Judge Peterson sentenced Porter to probation rather than prison based on the fact that he did not try to purchase a gun and there was no evidence that he had sold illegal guns into the community.
The charge against Porter 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.
The charge against Porter was the result of an investigation conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sun Prairie Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan.