Milwaukee Man reveals Mass Shooting Plan following Arrest

A Milwaukee man was arrested after it was revealed that he was planning a mass shooting on a Masonic temple in New York. According to the NY Daily News, “Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was charged with possessing machine guns and a silencer,” and the FBI has said that his arrest prevented his plan to kill 30 people in a raid.

Hamzeh revealed to police that he had been planning the attack for weeks in what he’s sees as a mission to defend the Muslim region. Hamzeh stated that he hoped to spark similar shootings across the United States. The FBI had been investigating Hazmeh since September after allegations that he was planning to travel to Jordan and attack Israeli soldiers. They were able to arrest him after he attempted to buy illegal firearms from two undercover FBI agents.

The FBI stated that following his arrest, Hazmeh shared extensive details of the attack he was planning in Milwaukee. While he is currently only being charged with gun crimes, he may face terrorism charges at a later time.

Homicide cases in Milwaukee reached alarming numbers in 2015

Seventeen-year-old Breanna Eskridge, who was shot to death on July 19, 2015 allegedly due to witnessing a homicide eight days earlier, was one of 145 homicide victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2015.

Also in April of last year, 40-year-old Archie Brown, Jr. was shot and killed by Ricky Chiles right after Brown accidentally caused the death of Chiles’ two-year-old nephew during a vehicular collision. During the shooting, which was considered a retaliatory action in the moment, a stray bullet struck the shooter’s teenage nephew, Rasheed Chiles, killing him as well.

Milwaukee’s city leaders, residents, and law enforcement agencies tried to understand why homicide rates kept rising during the year, and a number of attempts to curb these deaths were made. Task forces were assembled, courts were reorganized, candlelight vigils were held, and awareness programs were initiated by residents–but the deaths continued.

At Kohler Hart Powell, SC, our legal team works with those accused of crimes, such as homicide, in an effort to protect our clients’ rights throughout the legal process in service of justice. To speak to our criminal defense attorneys today, call (414) 271-9595 now.

Wisconsin Police Arrest Four Men Disguising Meth as Cocaine

Four men in Wisconsin have been arrested after police found over $1.5 million of drugs in their home.  Kenosha Police Department found the four men, who are related, selling methamphetamine labeled as cocaine out of their home.  In addition, the sheriff’s department discovered thousands of grams of marijuana, an illegal firearm, and a meth lab inside the home.

The men were using their meth lab to convert methamphetamine into white powder that resembled cocaine, as well as injecting it with a drug that would cause users to be unable to taste it when they put it in their mouth.  Authorities say the men did this due to the higher street value of cocaine, as well as the high addiction rates of methamphetamine after even just a single use.  Officers are requesting that the men, aged 20-23 years old, be charged with intent to deliver meth, possession with intent to deliver THC and keeping of a drug house.

The Milwaukee lawyers of Kohler & Hart, SC, are prepared to help individuals who are facing drug charges and assist them in building the best case possible.  Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595 to learn more.


St. Croix murder trial begins with defendant claiming self-defense

The trial for a Minnesota man charged with the stabbing of a Wisconsin fisherman began on Monday, December 7, in Wisconsin. The trial centers around 20-year-old Levi Acre-Kendall, who stabbed 34-year-old Peter Kelly on the St. Croix River last spring after an altercation between the two and their friends.

A man who was fishing with Kelly at the time of the incident, Ross Lechman, claimed the fight started after Acre-Kendall and his friends were making loud, crude remarks and smoking marijuana while fishing. Kelly and Lechman, two fathers who frequently fished the river together, drove across the body of water to confront the group. The argument quickly escalated from there.

It is currently unclear which party was more aggressive during the argument. Lechman, who took the stand on the first day of the trial, said that he soon realized Lechman had been stabbed during the scuffle and ran over to help him. Shortly after, Lechman died of stab wounds inflicted by Acre-Kendall, who drove away after inflicting the fatal injuries.

While Acre-Kendall and his attorneys have admitted that the defendant did stab Kelly, they claim it was in self-defense. The jury must determine whether or not they believe the defendant was acting out of self-preservation or if he was the aggressor. Acre-Kendall faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide and one count of second-degree intentional homicide. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Ex-Subway spokesman sentenced in child porn, sex crimes trial

Thirty-eight-year-old Jared Fogle, known for his time as a Subway spokesman, was sentenced on Thursday, November 19 to more than 15 years in jail after pleading guilty to federal charges of child pornography and sexual conduct involving minors.

According to a report from The Indianapolis Star, United States District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt asked Fogle to respond to the allegations against him, at which point Fogle replied, “Guilty,” After his answer, he was sentenced by Pratt to 15 years and eight months of imprisonment, according to the Associated Press, with Pratt noting that “the level of perversion and lawlessness exhibited by Mr. Fogle is extreme.”

Fogle’s legal counsel had previously declared in August 2015 that his client would plead guilty to the charges, which were made against Fogle after a police raid at his Indiana home.

Authorities said that aside from using the Internet to solicit sexual activities and traveling to different states to engage in sexual activities with minors, Fogle was also given images and videos of nude children by the former executive of his charity foundation, Russell Taylor, who is set to plead guilty to charges of child exploitation and child pornography.

Wisconsin Governor signs controversial gun crime bill

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a number of bills that expand gun laws in the state and establish a mandatory minimum for gun crimes. One of the bills allows military personnel from other states who are in Wisconsin for over a year to apply for a concealed weapons permit. Former police officers from other states are also able to apply for a permit in Wisconsin, rather than having to go back to the state which houses their former department.

While these two bills passed with large support, a third bill that establishes a three-year minimum sentence for felons found with illegal firearms had a harder time becoming legislation and was heavily argued on the Senate floor. Wisconsin had no minimum for gun crimes prior to this and received backlash up until the bill was signed.

Opponents argued that this mandatory minimum was the wrong approach to gun crimes and that more social programs should be implemented instead. The bill is seen as another step in Wisconsin’s harsh regulations toward gun crimes.

At Kohler Hart Powell, SC, our Milwaukee legal team has experience with defending individuals who have been charged with firearm offenses, and we are ready to aggressively defend your case. Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595 to learn more.

Notorious thief charged once again in Milwaukee

Daniel Bercyzk, a notorious thief who has been charged with 81 crimes since 1996 – that’s 81 distinct criminal charges in 48 separate cases with 37 convictions – has recently been charged with stealing over $1,000 worth of scrap metal in New Berlin, over $3,000 in copper wire and power tools from Eau Claire-based home improvement center Menards, and a $20,000 trailer from someone named Randy Schwartz.

Bercyzk entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease to five felonies and three  misdemeanor charges on Monday, November 9 at the Milwaukee County Courthouse in Wisconsin.

In September 2015, video surveillance showed Bercyzk having a confrontation with a woman at a Franklin gas station after which he forced her out of her vehicle, causing the woman to fall to the ground and wound her elbow, and drove away in it.

Our attorneys at Kohler Hart Powell, SC have handled thousands of criminal defense cases in Milwaukee, and our extensive experience in representing clients facing criminal charges enables us to offer professional counsel to clients charged with a variety of crimes. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, call our office at (414) 271-9595 today.

Five charged with meth crimes in Northwest Wisconsin drug bust

Five individuals near the city of Washburn have been charged with a variety of crimes related to methamphetamine, including conspiracy to deliver and possession among others.  The bust was made after six law enforcement agencies including the Wisconsin Police Department and Division of Criminal Investigation teamed up to further investigate the crimes.  The arrests are a result of a year of separate investigation by the six departments.  When the departments were able to acquire two search warrants against the parties, they were able to conduct further investigations that ultimately led to the five arrests.

The five individuals who were arrested are facing different drug charges.  While four remain in prison, one individual has been released after posting bail.  The police said this is a move towards heavier enforcement of drug laws.

The legal team at Kohler Hart Powell, SC represents individuals who have been charged with drug crimes and other criminal offenses in Wisconsin.  Our attorneys are dedicated to aggressively fighting for your case and defending your rights as you face these charges.  Call our offices today at (414) 271-9595 to learn more.

Boyfriend accused of intentionally causing rollover accident that killed girlfriend

A fatal rollover accident that happened at around 7:27 p.m. on June 27, 2015 along Interstate 94 in Summit, Wisconsin and resulted in the death of 20-year-old Crystal Matusek was deemed to have been intentionally caused by Matusek’s boyfriend, Milwaukee resident Jared Weber.

According to criminal complaints, a dashcam revealed that Weber and Matusek were arguing before the accident. Weber shouted, “I will crash this car,” before witnesses saw the vehicle veer sharply across two lanes of traffic, jump the highway divider, flip in midair, land on its roof in the midst of oncoming traffic, roll one more time, and finally come to rest on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes. The accident happened as the couple was driving back to Weber’s mother’s house in Poynette from a car show in Michigan.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Lee Dreyfus charged Weber with first-degree reckless homicide on Tuesday, October 6 and issued a warrant for his arrest on the same day.


Wisconsin trial to determine firearm dealers’ liability

Milton Beatovic and Adam Allan, former owners of Wisconsin-based gun dealership Badger Guns, were sued by police officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch after the officers were both shot by a criminal who, they claim, was allowed to enact a straw purchase at their store.

The shooter, Julius Barton, was too young to purchase his own firearm, so he brought a friend to the shop and, the injured officers say, blatantly had his friend buy the gun he wanted for him. The Badger Guns owners are accused of knowingly permitting illegal sales of weapons or being grossly negligent.

Julius Burton, who was 18 years old at the time, would later go on to use the gun his friend purchased for him to shoot both of the officers during an alleged robbery. The shootings left one officer with damage to his eye and frontal lobe and the other with serious injuries to the face.

The officers now contend that Burton was only able to buy a gun with the help of his 21-year-old acquaintance – an unfortunate situation that happened only because Badger Guns proprietors were not vigilant enough in verifying who would really take possession of the weapon.

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