News and Press Releases

Minnesota Man Found Guilty in Theft Scheme

July 15, 2011

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Eric Edward Garvey, 40, White Bear Lake, Minn., and formerly of Webster, Wis., was convicted yesterday of the interstate transportation and sale of stolen vehicles and property, following a three-day jury trial in federal court in Madison.

Garvey was originally indicted on July 22, 2010, along with Chad Allen Wyttenbach, 35, Somerset, Wis., and Victor Ernest Trejo, 51, Prescott, Wis., in a ten-count indictment charging the defendants with conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, interstate sale of stolen vehicles, interstate transportation of stolen goods, possessing stolen goods, and possessing stolen motor vehicles. On May 22, 2011, a federal grand jury sitting in Madison, Wis., returned a superseding indictment against Garvey arising from the same conduct, but eliminating the charges relating to the possession of stolen vehicles and goods.

On January 28, 2011, Trejo pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen vehicle that had been transported in interstate commerce, and agreed to cooperate with the government in its case against Garvey. On February 17, 2011, Wyttenbach pleaded guilty to the interstate sale of stolen vehicles, and also agreed to provide testimony against Garvey. On April 21, 2011, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley sentenced Trejo to three years probation and ordered him to pay restitution of $93,777, jointly with the co-defendants. Wyttenbach’s sentencing is scheduled for August 25, 2011.

The government’s proof at the jury trial established that Garvey and others he worked with stole vehicles from places in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and then transported them across the Minnesota/Wisconsin border where they would be sold to customers. The jury found Garvey guilty of six of the nine counts, including the conspiracy count, three counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, and one count of selling a stolen vehicle. Garvey was acquitted of two counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and one count of selling a stolen vehicle.

U.S. District Judge Conley scheduled Garvey’s sentencing for September 9, 2011. Garvey faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, and ten years in prison on each of the other counts of conviction.

Judge Conley previously sentenced Garvey on May 22, 2011, to 42 months in prison for the distribution of methamphetamine. Garvey was found guilty of four charges of distributing methamphetamine, after a two-day trial in federal court in Madison in February 2011.

The charges against Garvey were the result of an investigation conducted by the Sheriffs’ Departments of Burnett County, Barron County, Dunn County, St. Croix County, Chippewa County, and Polk County, Wisconsin, as well as Ramsey County, Minnesota; the New Richmond, Webb Lake, and Cameron Police Departments; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter M. Jarosz and Antonio Trillo.


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