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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Methamphetamine Trafficking and Illegal Firearms Possession at Tribal Casino in Wittenberg Lead to Ten-year Prison Sentence

Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that an individual received a sentence totaling ten years following convictions for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and illegal firearms possession at a tribal casino near Wittenberg, Wisconsin. The man, Matthew Hornung (age: 36), formerly lived in the Wausau area.

The sentence, imposed on August 5, 2020, by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach, was the result of guilty pleas entered by the defendant to the following:

CHARGE

STATUTE SECTION

SENTENCE

Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (5 grams or more)

21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(viii)

60 months in prison, followed by 60 months of supervised release

Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(a)(i)

60 months in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, followed by 60 months of supervised release

According to court records, the investigation revealed that on October 16, 2019, Hornung was at a tribal casino located near Wittenberg in western Shawano County. While at the casino, Hornung possessed with the intent to distribute approximately 41 grams of methamphetamine with a purity of greater than 80%. Hornung fled on foot from officers who arrived to arrest him. During the short chase, Hornung threw a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun that he had on his person.  

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Griesbach noted the seriousness of the crime the defendant committed and referred to a criminal record of similar conduct involving illegal drugs and firearms. Judge Griesbach also remarked upon the need to enforce laws related to firearm possession and to deter those would might consider similar actions.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods’ strategy brings together all levels of law enforcement and community resources to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in all our neighborhoods.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://go.usa.gov/xpBrs.

The Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Shawano County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Maier prosecuted the case.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
 

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Updated August 5, 2020