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Press Release

Wausau Man Indicted for Illegal Firearm Possession and Drug Trafficking Offense

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

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on January 28, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Matthew J. Hornung (age: 36), formerly of Wausau . The indictment charges Hornung as follows:









Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 21 USC § 841(a)(1)

Mandatory minimum 5 years in prison, up to 40 years in prison.


Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, 18 USC § 924(c)

Mandatory minimum 5 consecutive years in prison, up to life in prison.


Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 18 USC §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2)

Up to 10 years in prison.

If convicted, Hornung faces the imposition of fines and a term of supervised release in addition to the imprisonment listed above.

According to the indictment, on or about October 16, 2019, Hornung possessed more than 5 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the substance. Hornung also possessed a 9mm semiautomatic handgun in furtherance of drug trafficking, despite knowing he could not legally possess firearms.

This case is being 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  

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 will prosecute the case.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated January 29, 2020