MADISON - Federal jurors needed less than two hours Tuesday to convict Joseph Jakubowski, of Janesville, of stealing 18 guns and two silencers from a Janesville area gun shop and being a felon in possession of firearms.
Jakubowski, 33, admitted at trial to breaking into Armageddon Supplies on April 4 and taking firearms and ammunition.
Jakubowski fled the gun shop on US Highway 14 west of Janesville before a Rock County sheriff's deputy could respond to the burglar alarm set off when Jakubowski apparently broke a window in the front door with a hammer.
He had previously confessed to the crime during interviews with law enforcement after his arrest on April 14 in rural Vernon County.
Jakubowski had told the rural landowner who discovered his presence in a makeshift camp that he wanted to "live off the grid," and needed to steal the firearms since a 2008 felony conviction prohibited him from legally purchasing them.
Evidence federal prosecutors presented at trial in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin included a blood sample recovered at the gun shop which matched Jakubowski's DNA. Also presented was surveillance footage of Jakubowski diving through the broken window in the front door and packing a bag with several handguns and rifles before leaving the shop. The shop gun owner William Kuhl testified that he had purchased, inventoried and displayed the guns prior to the burglary.
Authorities had said Jakubowski told them he had visited the store twice before breaking in.
Jakubowski faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled his sentencing for 1 p.m. Dec. 20.
Joseph Bugni, Jakubowski's attorney, had told jurors that his client had stolen the firearms from Armageddon Supplies, but the indictment wrongly stated that the theft was from a licensed gun manufacturer, not a firearms dealer.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita Rubelow told jurors that the license issued to Kuhl allowed the manufacture and sale of firearms.
Bugni also argued that Jakubowski's 2008 conviction for trying to disarm a Janesville police officer was invalid as police had misidentified him as an assailant.
Jakubowski's haul of firearms and the 161-page manifesto against the government that he had mailed to the White House prompted law enforcement to send more than 100 officers looking for the former roofer and some area schools to close in April.
According to Jakubowski, he just wanted to be left alone and hid the best he could from others.
Jakubowski is scheduled to go to trial before Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley on burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools on Oct. 23. A final pretrial hearing is set for Oct. 19 in Rock County Circuit Court.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey M. Anderson commented that, in his more than 40 years in law enforcement, he had rarely seen better cooperation and coordination among the federal, state and local law enforcement authorities than in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of Jakubowski.
The agencies involved in the investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Rock County Sheriff's Department; Janesville Police Department; Beloit Police Department; U.S. Secret Service; Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation; and numerous other law enforcement agencies from Rock County and the surrounding area.