By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — A 24-year-old man identified as the suspect caught on videotape last November burglarizing the Elk Mound village hall and police department has been indicted by a federal grand jury on weapons charges.
The federal grand jury has indicted Darren J. Bishop, Town of Estella Chippewa County, as being a felon in possession of a firearm, and that on November 22, 2014, the day he allegedly broke into the Elk Mound village hall, he was in possession of a .22 caliber revolver.
At that time, Bishop also was wanted in connection with burglaries in Rusk County and Chippewa County.
If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Bishop faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.
The charge against him is the result of an investigation conducted by the Dunn County sheriff’s department and the Elk Mound police department, according to a news release dated February 19 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Wisconsin.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy O’Shea will prosecute the case.
Bishop allegedly broke into the Elk Mound village hall in the early morning hours of November 22.
Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, reported to the Elk Mound Village Board at the December 3 meeting that security camera footage of the break-in at the village hall indicated that the suspect had been in the building for more than an hour.
Hahn said she had come to the village hall after getting the mail — shortly after the burglary — and the first thing she noticed on the floor just inside the door were some file folders and bullets.
A list of stolen items provided to the Elk Mound Village Board indicated that the burglar took weapons and ammunition from the Elk Mound police department, including a .22 caliber revolver, a .357 caliber revolver, a .38 caliber revolver, and several boxes of ammunition.
All together, clean up of the village hall and police department, repairs to the building, upgrades to the building’s security systems, and the items stolen during the break-in totaled more than $15,000.
Other items that were taken during the break-in included a paintball gun, a BB pistol, an air gun, a police baton with a holster, a portable radio and charging base, and alcohol Intoximeters.
Bishop was arrested in Minnesota on December 1, 2014, for a theft at a Wal-Mart store and gave law enforcement officers a number of false names before he was correctly identified.