MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Thomas Olsem, 53, Luck, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty today, and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 7 years in prison for possessing firearms as a felon.
Olsem was convicted of possessing two firearms, a .22 caliber “pen gun” and .380 handgun, that law enforcement found on March 9, 2020, while executing a search warrant on Olsem’s residence and shed. Olsem admitted to possessing those firearms. He has prior felony convictions for distributing amphetamines and eluding an officer, and was sentenced to prison in both of those previous cases. Olsem was also convicted in 2013 of being a felon in possession of several firearms.
At sentencing, Judge Conley noted that Olsem’s adult life was marked with criminal convictions, a pattern of returning to a criminal lifestyle, and continued possession of large quantities of drugs and firearms. Judge Conley remarked that Olsem has not shown that he is aging out of committing crimes, but instead his instant offense is worse than any of his prior convictions. Olsem was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after his prison term.
The charge against Olsem was the result of an investigation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan.
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.