News and Press Releases

Three Merrill Men Sentenced on Meth Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2011

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Larry G. Dole, 32, Antonio P. Lance, 30, and Jody R. Simon, 39, all of Merrill, Wis., were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to substantial federal prison terms, to be followed by a three-year period of supervised release, for conspiring to possess pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the Lincoln County area during 2009. Federal prison sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

Dole received a sentence of 130 months. Lance received a 149 month sentence. Both Dole and Lance were also ordered to pay $7,617.50 in restitution for clean up costs at two methamphetamine lab locations found during the investigation. Simon was sentenced to a term of 120 months.

The prosecution of Dole, Lance and Simon was the result of an extensive and ongoing investigation conducted by the Merrill Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin Department of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigation. To date, the cooperative state, local and federal investigation has resulted in the conviction of 16 people involved in over a dozen separate methamphetamine cooking operations during 2008 through 2010.

Two additional men, who have pleaded guilty to similar charges of conspiring with others to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the Lincoln County area, also await sentencing. Bernard W. Robertson, 41, Tomahawk, Wis., pleaded guilty on May 3 and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 24. Michael B. Ritchie, 40, Merrill, pleaded guilty on June 3 and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 1.

Set forth below are the defendants who have previously been convicted and sentenced in federal court in connection with these investigations:

  1. Shawn Ably; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; sentenced to 6 years
  2. Jake Barttelt; manufacture of methamphetamine; 5 ½ years
  3. Daniel Bohma; manufacture of methamphetamine; 4 years;
  4. Joshua Graham; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 10 years;
  5. Chuck Groff; conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine; 12 years;
  6. Paul Rasmussen; attempted manufacture of methamphetamine; 5 years;
  7. David Bienfang; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 4 ½ years;
  8. Hal “Casey” Mulford; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 3½ years;
  9. Richard Koput; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 11 years;
  10. Christopher Schmeltzer; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 27 months; and
  11. Charles “Mike” Bear; conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; 9 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson is handling the prosecution of these cases.

 

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