Casper Man Pleads Guilty to Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
A Casper man -- convicted and sentenced for a fourth DUI in 10 years after being found passed out at an intersection downtown in 2021 -- pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm during a hearing in federal court in Cheyenne on Monday.
Steven Robert Venjohn entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson, according to federal court records.
The plea agreement to the single count in the indictment occurred a few weeks before his trial scheduled for Feb. 13.
Johnson set his sentencing for April 17.
Venjohn could have been punished by up to 15 years imprisonment, three years of supervised probation after his release from custody, and up to a $250,000 fine, according to the indictment.
However, a note in the plea agreement says the plea and proposed penalty summary of the indictment will limit his sentence to no more than 10 years.
In November, the federal grand jury noted Venjohn new he was a felon, an unlawful user of a controlled substance and in possession of a .22-caliber revolver.
He has been detained since his arrest in November after federal prosecutors filed a motion to hold him in custody because of the risks of flight and obstruction of justice, a felony involving the possession of a firearm, assurance he will appear in court, and for the safety of the community.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin agreed, writing: "The defendant is appearing on a writ and has three cases in which revocation of his probation is pending. It is further noted that an active warrant is pending, with extradition from anywhere within the state of Wyoming. Given these circumstances, the defendant presents as a significant risk of nonappearance, and it is recommended he remain detained."
Venjohn was represented by federal Public Defender David Weiss.
In May 2021, Venjohn was found passed out at an intersection at Ash and First streets, according to Natrona County District Court documents.
That marked his fourth charge of driving under the influence within 10 years, which is an automatic felony punishable by up to seven years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.
Venjohn was under the influence of a controlled substance, and also was charged with misdemeanors of driving without an interlock device and possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Casper Police received a report shortly before midnight May 20 that Venjohn was passed out behind the wheel of a black GMC truck.
Officers saw him slumped over his steering wheel with his head against the driver's window. Venjohn did not respond to having a flashlight shined on him, the affidavit states.
During the police interview they learned he had a warrant out of Carbon County for failure to appear as well had an ignition interlock requirement.
After conducting field sobriety tests, police arrested Venjohn. As they searched him, police found a plastic container with methamphetamine residue.