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La Crosse man faces federal charges after shots fired outside downtown bar

La Crosse man faces federal charges after shots fired outside downtown bar


A La Crosse man accused of shooting a gun into the air during a downtown bar brawl is also facing charges in federal court.

Robert J. Powell IV, 28, was indicted Aug. 7 on a charge of unlawful transport of firearms, a felony, in U.S. District Court in connection with the July 28 incident. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Powell was charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court July 31 with possession of a firearm by a felon and disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon, both as a repeater, after he was accused of shooting a gun in the air during the fight about 1:30 a.m. July 28 on Third Street in La Crosse.

Robert Powell mug


According to the criminal complaint in the circuit court charges, a fight broke out just south of Who’s on Third in La Crosse. Powell can be seen on downtown surveillance video taking a gun out of his shorts and firing it in the air, causing the crowd of about 20 people nearby to scatter, and then leaving the area on foot.

Powell was released from La Crosse County Jail on a $2,500 cash bond and prohibited from entering any bars or taverns.

Powell has previous convictions for felony possession and delivery of marijuana.

Jourdan Vian can be reached at or follow her on Twitter, @Jourdan_LCT.


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