MADISON, WIS. – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced today the unsealing of an indictment that charges eight individuals with various crimes related to the distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison on March 29.
The indictment charges the following individuals:
1. Christopher Dutton, 43, Madison;
2. Olivia Halvorson, 28, Browntown, Wis.,
3. James Nehls, 30, Iowa County, Wis.;
4. Sean McLyman, 42, Madison;
5. Brandon Frank, 42, Argyle, Wis.;
6. Sean Brown, 33, Encino, Calif.;
7. Amanda Brown, 30, Encino, Calif.; and
8. Joel Ringelstetter, 48, Lone Rock, Wis.
Sean Brown and Amanda Brown are brother and sister.
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 methamphetamine attributable to defendants Dutton, Frank, and Sean Brown was 500 grams or more.
The indictment also charges some of the defendants with other offenses. 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 this afternoon. They will remain in custody pending a detention hearing. Halvorson was also arrested today; she will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison tomorrow. Sean Brown was arrested in California today, 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.
The charges against these eight individuals are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Dane County Narcotics Task Force; Dane County Sheriff’s Department; Madison Police Department; UW-Madison Police Department; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Sauk County Drug Task Force; Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force; Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office; State Line Area Narcotics Team; and Rock County Special Investigations Unit.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diane Schlipper and David Reinhard.
You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.