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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

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.

Federal Prison Employee Charged with Public Corruption Crimes

Amy Ziemann, 43, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., is charged in an eight-count indictment with public corruption crimes.  The indictment alleges that from July 2013 to February 2014, Ziemann, while an employee of the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wis., conspired to provide prohibited items to an inmate of the prison.  The indictment alleges that she brought tobacco into FCI-Oxford for the inmate to use and sell to other inmates, that she provided pornography, clothing and food items to the inmate, and that she coordinated the use of her office phone by another inmate to arrange for payments from the in-prison sale of tobacco.

The indictment also alleges that she provided prohibited items to an inmate, including a wireless remote control for a sexual stimulation device, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.  Ziemann is also charged with engaging in sexual acts and sexual contact with an inmate.  The sixth count of the indictment charges Ziemann with making false statements to investigators, and the seventh count alleges that Ziemann accepted a $200 bribe to smuggle contraband into FCI-Oxford.  The eighth count of the indictment alleges that Ziemann attempted to persuade another individual to testify falsely about this matter before a federal grand jury.

If convicted, Ziemann faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the most serious charge.   The charges against her are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, with the cooperation of personnel from FCI-Oxford.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke. 

Illinois Man Charged with Defrauding City of Beloit

Randy Martin, 52, Caledonia, Ill., is charged with two counts of defrauding the City of Beloit, Wis.  The indictment alleges that between February 2008 and May 2011, Martin, as owner and operator of a company in Illinois known as R&D Mechanical Services, Inc., submitted false invoices to the city about the amount of maintenance and repair work to the city’s Water Resources Center Buildings and related facilities. 

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture to the United States of any real or personal property allegedly derived from this fraud scheme, including a money judgment equal to $255,240.41, which represents the proceeds from the scheme. 

If convicted, Martin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Beloit Police Department, with the assistance of the City of Beloit.   The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Duchemin. 

Two Merrill Residents Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Methamphetamine

Andrew Nelson, 31, and Karen Zais, 48, Merrill, Wis., are charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.  The indictment alleges that the conspiracy operated from January to June 2014, and that Nelson and Zais possessed 50 grams or more of methamphetamine on June 4, 2014.

If convicted, Nelson and Zais face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in federal prison on the conspiracy count.  They face a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years on the possession with intent to distribute count.  The charges against them are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Marathon County Sheriff’s Department, Special Investigations Unit; Wausau Police Department; and IRS Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber.

Two Wausau Residents Charged with Possessing Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute

Patrick Keenan, 29, and Jaimie Pankow, 32, Wausau, Wis., are charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.  The indictment alleges that they possessed the methamphetamine on February 28, 2016.

Keenan and Pankow were originally charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on February 29, 2016.  The complaint alleged that methamphetamine was found in a vehicle operated by the defendants following a traffic stop on February 28, 2016, by a Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy on State Highway 29.  Keenan and Pankow made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison on March 1, 2016, and they were detained in federal custody.  Their arraignment is scheduled for March 15. 

If convicted, Keenan and Pankow face a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison.  The charge against them is the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Marathon County Sheriff’s Department, Special Investigations Unit; Wausau Police Department; and IRS Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber.

Mexican Citizen Charged with Illegally Reentering U.S.

Rolando Reyes-Cruz, 49, a citizen of Mexico living in New Lisbon, Wis., is charged with illegally reentering the United States after previously being deported.  The indictment alleges that he was found in the United States on February 18, 2016. 

If convicted, Reyes-Cruz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

Mosinee Man Charged with Failing to Update Registration as Sex Offender

Byron E. Childers, 55, Mosinee, Wis., is charged with failing to update his registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.  The indictment alleges that between February 2015 and February 2016, he traveled in interstate commerce and failed to update his registration.

If convicted, Childers faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

Federal Prison Inmate Charged with Possessing Prohibited Object

Curtis Stewart, 37, formerly an inmate of the Federal Correctional Institution at Oxford, Wis., is charged with possessing a prohibited object.  The indictment alleges that on March 14, 2014, he possessed marijuana.

If convicted, Stewart faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Anderson.

In a related matter, Kalean Erickson, 35, La Crosse, Wis., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to providing six balloons containing marijuana to Stewart on March 14, 2014.  She was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker to two years of probation. 

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Updated March 10, 2016