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Press Release

Drug Distribution in Menominee and Ho-Chunk Tribal Communities Leads to Prison Sentence for Former Keshena Man

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Charles A. Parham (age: 42), a former resident of Keshena and Wausau, received a prison sentence of 144 months following a conviction for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

The sentence, imposed on July 8, 2024, by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach, was the result of a guilty plea entered by Parham on April 10, 2024. After he completes his prison sentence, Parham also will spend eight years on supervised release.

According to court records, on September 29, 2023, an undercover agent purchased just under 5 grams of heroin from Parham at a location in Keshena on the Menominee Indian Reservation. At the time, Parham was under investigation for selling controlled substances in the Wausau area. The undercover agent and Parham communicated over the next week and a half and discussed Parham obtaining 20 grams of fentanyl, which Parham stated would be from his source in Chicago.

Law enforcement obtained a search warrant and tracked Parham’s movements on October 11, 2023, as he left the Wausau area and traveled to Chicago and back. The undercover officer and Parham agreed to meet at a casino on Ho-Chunk tribal land outside Wittenberg in Shawano County, and law enforcement stopped and arrested Parham when the vehicle he was in arrived at the casino. Investigators recovered a plastic baggy containing over 40 grams of fentanyl.

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Griesbach noted the seriousness of the crime and remarked upon the need to deter those who might consider similar actions and to protect the community from the destructive effects of abuse of controlled substances.

 Judge Griesbach also noted the need to incarcerate Parham for a lengthy period, given Parham’s three previous felony convictions for drug dealing.

The case was investigated by multiple agencies, including the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force, Menominee Tribal Police Department, and FBI. The Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory also provided valuable assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Maier prosecuted the case in U.S. District Court in Green Bay.

Agencies investigated the case under the auspices of the Safe Trails Task Force (STTF) and Native American Drug and Gang Initiative (NADGI). NADGI and STTF partner federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement to combat drug trafficking and violent crime on the Menominee Indian Reservation. STTF members are deputized federal officers who identify and target for prosecution individuals who are involved in distribution of dangerous drugs on the Menominee Indian Reservation. Coordination of state resources through NADGI permits efficient communication and evidence processing, which are essential to swift but fair prosecution of offenders.


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Updated July 8, 2024