MADISON

A former Janesville man who was tackled by bank employees while trying to rob his third Madison bank in two weeks was sentenced Friday in federal court to seven years in prison.

Jeffrey A. Campton, 31, of Elkhorn admitted he robbed two Associated Bank branches on Madison’s east side. He also pleaded guilty to robbing a Home Savings Bank on East Washington Avenue, where he was held by three employees Sept. 4 until Madison police arrested him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan said Campton chose the banks because they were “easy targets” and would give him enough money to fuel his drug addiction.

The bank employees suspected Campton was not carrying a gun even though he kept his hand inside his sweatshirt, wore sunglasses and covered his face, said Campton’s attorney, Mark Maciolek.

“It is hard to imagine a milder version of a bank robbery than those that Jeff committed. … He said and did very little other than demand money,” Maciolek wrote to the court. “He accepted whatever the teller had in the teller drawer and left the bank. To me, it’s telling that the bank personnel in his last robbery decided to pursue and apprehend Jeff themselves.”

As Campton struggled with the three employees, the sweatshirt containing the stolen $1,145 came off and he gave up trying to flee the bank, Maciolek wrote.

Still, the threat of violence is present in any holdup, District Judge William Conley said.

Maciolek told Conley that Campton was diagnosed with polysubstance abuse disorder and has abused alcohol and multiple drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

Campton’s addictions have caused him legal trouble before.

In May 2016, he was sentenced in Rock County to four years in prison for methamphetamine delivery. He completed a drug treatment program and was released early. However, he returned to abusing drugs, his extended supervision was revoked and he was resentenced after the bank robbery arrest.

He faced up to eight years, nine months in prison Friday. Conley said he doubted Campton would “do the work” to overcome his addictions.

“Hopefully, the defendant now gets it, but there’s nothing in his history to show that the light has gone on,” the judge said.

Conley said he wasn’t sentencing Campton for abusing drugs but for the terror he caused the bank tellers.

Campton told the judge that the robberies are the “worst thing I’ve ever done. I’m ashamed. I have no support. I’m at the bottom, and there is no way to go but up.”

The prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release, during which Conley said he hoped Campton would continue drug treatment.

Campton also must pay $5,876 in restitution.