News Release

LADYSMITH, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul and Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Wallace today announced that 11 people have been charged in a methamphetamine drug conspiracy case in Rusk County.

The individuals charged reside in Wisconsin and Minnesota and have been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Law enforcement seized during the investigation:

  • 18 firearms
  • More than $17,000 cash
  • Three lbs. of methamphetamine
  • Two lbs. of THC

The individuals charged in the complaint (attached) are:

  1. Steven A. Betro, age 61 of Rosholt, Wis.
  2. Jacob C. Channell, age 37 of Ladysmith, Wis.
  3. Barrington M. Daniel, age 53 of Red Wing, Minn.
  4. Cody D. Dewitt, age 30 of Ladysmith, Wis.
  5. Rita D. Hryniewiecki, age 44, of Ladysmith, Wis.
  6. Casey J. Kieleszewski, age 35 of Plover, Wis.
  7. Jeffrey H. Murphy, age 57, of Ladysmith, Wis.
  8. Brittany N. Prestwood, age 31 of Ladysmith, Wis.
  9. Maliki R. Sandley-Wangner, age 27 of Ladysmith, Wis.
  10. Nicholas G. Witt, age 27 of Ladysmith, Wis.
  11. Tyler J. Zimmerman, age 30 of Rudolph, Wis.

The investigation was led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. They were assisted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office, Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office (Minn.), Ladysmith Police Department, Plover Police Department, Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Red Wing Police Department (Minn.), Washington County Sheriff’s Office (Minn.), Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and the Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center. The lead investigators are Rusk County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Riley Kummet and DCI Special Agent Shawn Sutherland.

The prosecution is led by Rusk County District Attorney Annette Barna. The case was also supported by DOJ regional drug prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Chad Verbeten. These regional prosecutors were created by 2017 Wisconsin Act 261, part of the HOPE legislation, to assist local law enforcement with major criminal investigations such as complicated drug conspiracies. The state prosecutors collaborate with law enforcement to develop investigative strategies and support local district attorneys with valuable caseload assistance and a level of expertise in drug conspiracy prosecutions.

As in any criminal proceeding, the individuals charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Criminal Complaint

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