James W. Unser, 59, Ladysmith, is charged in a superseding indictment with being a felon in possession of firearms, and three counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  The superseding indictment alleges that two of the methamphetamine counts involve the possession of 50 grams or more of the drug. 

The superseding indictment alleges that on a date between July and November 2016, Unser possessed two 30-30 caliber level action rifles and a 22 caliber lever action single shot rifle, and that he possessed methamphetamine on November 30 and December 1, 2016 and on December 30, 2017. 

Unser was charged in an indictment returned by the grand jury on January 24, 2018, with one count of possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. 

If convicted, Unser faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison on the two counts alleging 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, a maximum of 20 years on the other methamphetamine count, and a maximum of 10 years on the felon in possession of firearms count.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Rusk, Dunn, Taylor and Chippewa County Sheriffs’ Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case against James W. Unser was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.



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Federal Grand Jury Indicts Rusk Co. Man for Possession of 50 Grams of Meth

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | Media Release

James W. Unser, 59, Ladysmith, Wis., is charged with possessing 50 grams of more of methamphetamine.  The indictment alleges that he possessed the methamphetamine on December 30, 2017.

Unser was charged with this offense in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court on January 17.  According to the complaint and affidavit, Unser was arrested in Rusk County on December 30, 2017, following a traffic stop of a vehicle in which Unser was a passenger.  The complaint alleged that packages of methamphetamine were found in the vehicle under Unser’s seat. 

Unser made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison on January 18, and his arraignment is scheduled for January 26.  Federal law requires that felony offenses be charged by an indictment returned by a grand jury within 30 days of the date a criminal complaint is filed. 

If convicted, Unser faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



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