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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Retaliating Against a Witness Who Provided Information to Law Enforcement About Neopit Woman’s Drug Dealing Leads to Prison Sentence

Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that a woman received a sentence related to her involvement in a July 2019 fatal drug overdose on the Menominee Indian Reservation. Elmira J. Corn (Age: 29), formerly of Neopit, which is on the Menominee Indian Reservation, will serve 24 months in prison, followed by 36 months on supervised release. Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach imposed the sentence on June 9, 2020 in United States District Court in Green Bay. Corn pleaded guilty on December 30, 2020, to Obstructing Justice by Retaliating Against a Witness in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1513(b)(2) and 2.

The investigation revealed that in the early morning hours of July 9, 2019, Corn and another individual delivered a pill containing Fentanyl to another person at a residence in Neopit. The second person, identified as Leon Caldwell (age: 37), consumed part of the pill and died of a fentanyl overdose a few hours later. Witnesses revealed Corn purchased a number of pills from a source in Milwaukee a few days prior. Corn consumed and sold some of the pills, and gave one to another person shortly before he shared half of the pill with Caldwell.

While tribal and federal investigators interviewed witnesses and put together the case, Corn accosted a witness and threatened the person for cooperating with law enforcement and providing truthful information about Corn’s drug dealing. Corn’s threats culminated on October 6, 2019, when Corn and others found the witness outside a house in Neopit. Corn then encouraged another woman to attack the witness. The assault, coordinated by Corn, resulted in the woman sustaining neck, head, and arm injuries. Tribal and federal investigators arrested Corn on October 10, 2019, after a federal criminal complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Green Bay.

In sentencing Corn, Judge Griesbach noted the seriousness of the crimes the defendant committed, and pointed out “this was an assault not just of the victim but of the whole justice system.” Judge Griesbach also remarked upon Corn’s prior history of violence in tribal court matters, and the need to send a message not just to the defendant but the entire community: “This behavior is not going to be tolerated.”

The Menominee Tribal Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, which Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Maier prosecuted.

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Updated June 16, 2020