Wisconsin man who sent manifesto to Trump found guilty of gun charges

(Reuters) – A Wisconsin man who had sent an anti-government manifesto to U.S. President Donald Trump was found guilty by a federal jury on Tuesday of stealing an arsenal of weapons from a gun shop.

Joseph Jakubowski, 32, was arrested in April after a massive manhunt following his theft of 18 guns and two silencers from the shop. Before the crime, he mailed his 161-page manifesto to Trump which criticized government officials and contained “anti-religious views,” according to investigators.

Jakubowski faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for each count of stealing from a licensed firearm dealer and felon in possession of a firearm, said Kyle Frederickson, a deputy clerk at the district court, in a phone call.

Jakubowski is set to be sentenced on Dec. 20 at U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin.

“We respect the jury’s verdict and anticipate the judge will hear the story that the jury didn’t get – namely, why he did what he did,” Jakubowski’s lawyer Joseph Bugni said in an email, adding he expected more of the story to be revealed during sentencing.

A representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District, which prosecuted the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the jury’s decision.

The hunt for Jakubowski began after an April 4 break-in at Armageddon Supplies, a gun shop in the suspect’s hometown of Janesville, about 70 miles (113 km) southwest of Milwaukee, in Rock County. He was found by law enforcement 10 days later in rural Southwest Wisconsin, where he appeared to be camping.

Before the theft, a video posted to social media appeared to show Jakubowski mailing the manifesto.

Jakubowski previously served time in prison for trying to wrestle a gun away from a police officer.

His sister also found a letter Jakubowski had written before the break-in at the gun shop, explaining he wanted to purchase weapons to protect himself and his family, but was barred from doing so because he is a convicted felon, according to court documents.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Richard Chang

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