Janesville66°

New check yields arrest of man on probation violation

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Mike DuPre'
December 19, 2007
— A state program to get guns out of the hands of convicted felons resulted in the arrest of one Janesville man for an apparent probation violation.

Steven M. Skoien, 28, of 1634 Garden Drive, was taken into custody in early December, and a shotgun, two rifles and a pistol were confiscated, Deputy Police Chief David Moore said Tuesday.


Skoien is not a convicted felon, Moore said, but because of two convictions involving domestic violence he is barred for life from owning firearms in Wisconsin.


A check of court records showed that Skoien was convicted of misdemeanor battery and criminal damage in 2006, both as domestic abuse incidents. He was fined and sentenced to two years probation.


He remained in custody Tuesday afternoon.


Skoienís arrest resulted from a joint program between the state Department of Corrections and state Department of Natural Resources.


Under the new initiative, hunting license data from the DNR was checked against names of felons and others who are under community supervision by the DOC.


Corrections agents started investigating 62 people whose names appeared on both lists to verify compliance with state law and rules of supervision or to take them into custody for investigation, the two departments announced.


The corrections department asked Janesville police to help investigate four Janesville residents, Moore said.


Of the four, only Skoien was arrested, he added.


In all, 19 of the people targeted in the initial sweep were taken into custody and investigated either for suspected firearm possession or for possible unrelated rule violations that agents discovered during home visits, interviews and other investigative procedures, according to a news release from the two departments.


Felons are allowed to huntódriving deer as part of a hunting party, for exampleóbut they are barred from carrying, possessing or using guns.


State and federal laws prohibit felons from possessing or owning firearms for life, even those who legally obtain DNR hunting licenses, the DNR reported.


Felons may hunt small game and other species in Wisconsin if they donít use guns. They are permitted to use other types of weapons, such as a bow and arrow, the DNR said.


But felons who are under probation, parole or extended supervision by the DOC face additional restrictions, including a prohibition against the possession of any weapon without prior approval. Offenders who fail to comply with the rule face sanctions up to and including revocation of supervision and a return to custody, regardless of whether the offender ultimately is charged with a new crime, the DOC said.


The no-weapon rule remains in effect until the offender completes his or her sentence and is discharged from DOC supervision.



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