Federal grand jury indicts 8 on meth distribution charges

Federal grand jury indicts 8 on meth distribution charges
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10. Attorney

The Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin unsealed an indictment Tuesday that charges eight people with various crimes related to meth distribution.

A Federal grand jury sitting in Madison returned the indictment on March 29. The indictment charges Christopher Dutton, 43, Madison, Olivia Halvorson, 28, Browntown, Wis., James Nehls, 30, Iowa County, Wis., Sean McLyman, 42, Madison, Brandon Frank, 42, Argyle, Wis., Sean Brown, 33, Encino, Calif., Amanda Brown, 30, Encino, Calif., and Joel Ringelstetter, 48, Lone Rock, Wis.

The Department of Justice said all the defendants, with the exception of Joel Ringelstetter, are charged with conspiring from September 2015 to February 2017 to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment alleges that the amount of meth attributable to defendants Dutton, Frank, and Sean Brown was 500 grams or more.

The indictment also charges some of the defendants with other offenses, according to a release. Nehls is charged with one count of attempting to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Halvorson is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine. Frank is charged with two counts of distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sean Brown is charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine and one count of distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Ringelstetter is charged with one count of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. McLyman is charged with two counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Dutton, Nehls, McLyman, Frank, and Ringelstetter were arrested today, and made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison on April 4. They will remain in custody pending a detention hearing. Halvorson was also arrested on April 4; she will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison on April 5. Sean Brown was arrested in California on April 4, and no date has been set for his appearance in Wisconsin. Amanda Brown is not in custody.

If convicted, due to the amount of methamphetamine the indictment alleges to be attributable to Dutton, Frank, and Sean Brown, they each face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison on the conspiracy charge. For Brandon Frank and Sean Brown, the counts which allege the distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years. All the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years on each of the other charges.

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