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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Grand Jury Returns Indictments

MADISON, WIS. – A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today.  You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Two Rothschild Men Charged in Money Laundering Conspiracy

Mario Amezcua-Cardenas, 27, and Moises Amezcua-Cardenas, 20, both of Rothschild, Wisconsin, are charged with conspiring to commit money laundering involving the proceeds of a fraud scheme targeting businesses in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  The two defendants are brothers.

The indictment alleges that from November to December 2020, the two defendants conspired to launder the proceeds of a scheme involving unknown perpetrators who operated from Mexico and convinced employees of businesses to collect and deliver the businesses’ cash-on-hand to the defendants by posing as company attorneys, store managers, or upper management from a corporate office. 

As part of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges that the two defendants used financial transactions to transfer the fraud proceeds to others.  The indictment alleges that in December 2020, the defendants collected $242,980 from a retail store located in the Western District of Wisconsin and transferred the funds to an individual in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

If convicted, Mario Amezcua-Cardenas and Moises Amezcua-Cardenas face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  The charge against them is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Marathon and Portage County Sheriffs’ Offices; the Merrill, Everest Metropolitan, Stevens Point, Wausau, Rib Mountain, Plover, Rothschild, and West Allis Police Departments; with assistance by the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Duchemin is handling the prosecution.

Merrill Man Charged with Producing and Transporting Child Pornography

Jason D. Ridolfi, 40, Merrill, Wisconsin, is charged with two counts of using a minor to produce child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography.  The indictment alleges that on August 30 and 31, 2017, Ridolfi used a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.  The indictment further alleges that on October 20, 2020, Ridolfi transported a visual image of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct into a Google account.

If convicted, Ridolfi faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison on each of the production charges, and a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years on the transportation charge.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and Kenosha Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.

Wisconsin Dells Man Charged with Drug & Gun Crimes

Levonte C. Scales, 29, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, with possessing a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment alleges that he possessed the methamphetamine and a handgun on June 22, 2021. 

If convicted, Scales faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years on the methamphetamine charge, a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of life on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and a maximum of 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge.  Federal law requires that any sentence imposed on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed. 

The charges against Scales are the result of an investigation by the Lake Delton Police Department, Sauk County Sheriff’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Corey is handling the prosecution.

Baraboo Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearm

Anthony James Wilson, 28, Baraboo, Wisconsin, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment alleges that Wilson possessed a loaded .357 caliber revolver on June 3, 2021.

If convicted, Wilson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan is handling the prosecution.

The indictments charging Scales and Wilson have been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Dunn County Man Charged with Distributing Methamphetamine

Richard Skramstad, 58, Knapp, Wisconsin, is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine.  The indictment alleges that he distributed methamphetamine on April 12, April 13, and May 13, 2021. 

If convicted, Skramstad faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each charge.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the West Central Drug Task Force, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Kraus is handling the prosecution. 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Updated August 11, 2021