MADISON(PRESS RELEASE) -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that David Bienfang, 39, Merrill, Wis., was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 54 months in prison, to be followed by a three-year period of supervised release, for conspiring to possess pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine from March 2009 to January 2010. He was also ordered to pay $3,376 in restitution for clean-up costs of toxic materials used to manufacture methamphetamine at a property in Lincoln County. Bienfang pleaded guilty to this charge on November 4, 2010. Bienfang's co-conspirators Hal D. "Casey" Mulford and Christopher Schmeltzer are scheduled for sentencing later this month. Mulford and Schmeltzer both also face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison. Federal prison sentences are served without the possibility of parole. The prosecutions of Bienfang was the result of an extensive and ongoing investigation conducted by the Merrill Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, and Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.
To date, the cooperative state, local and federal investigation has resulted in the conviction of nine people involved in five separate methamphetamine cooking operations during 2009. Set forth below are the defendants who have previously been convicted and sentenced in federal court:
Shawn Ably conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine 6 years
Jake Barttelt manufacture of methamphetamine 5 ½ years
Daniel Bohman manufacture of methamphetamine 4 years
Joshua Graham conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine 10 years
Chuck Groff conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine 12 years
Paul Rasmussen attempted manufacture of methamphetamine 5 years Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson is handling the prosecution of these cases.