Several Waushara County Residents Arrested, Indicted In Heroin And Death Investigation

Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 --- 3:05 p.m.

From the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office:

MADISON — As part of a joint investigation, Waushara County Sheriff David Peterson, Waushara County District Attorney Scott Blader, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin James L. Santelle announced that on November 6, 2012, several Waushara County and Milwaukee County residents were indicted on federal charges related to a heroin distribution conspiracy of one kilogram or more from November 1, 2011, through June 27, 2012.

The indictment also alleged a death on April 12, 2012, resulted from this conspiracy.

Those indicted include:

1. RANDY L. LINDGREN, Township of Dakota, Waushara County;

2. JOHN P. GEARNHARDT, Redgranite, Waushara County;

3. THERESA LINDGREN, Redgranite, Waushara County;

4. CHRISTOPHER LEGLER, Redgranite, Waushara County;

5. BUCKIE REHWINKEL, Hancock, Waushara County;

6. BECKY J. HOLMAN, Redgranite, Waushara County;

7. RONALD MCDANIELS, Milwaukee, WI;

8. RONNIE B. WELLS, Milwaukee, WI.

In addition to the heroin distribution conspiracy, Ronald McDaniels and Ronnie Wells were indicted for distributing heroin on August 6, 2012, and August 16, 2012.

All six of the Waushara County residents were originally charged with state crimes in a criminal complaint in Waushara County.

According to that criminal complaint, on April 12, 2012, Village of Redgranite police officers responded to a complaint of a medical emergency. They found the body of Amalia J. Henschel, outside of a residence on Steger Street in the Village of Redgranite.

According to the forensic pathologist’s report, Ms. Henschel died from an acute heroin fatality and that the decedent’s cause of death is attributed to a toxicologic process, specifically involving heroin.

According to the criminal complaint, Randy Lindgren and John Gearnhardt allegedly supplied the heroin to Ms. Henschel that resulted in her death.

In addition, Randy Lindgren, John Gearnhardt, Theresa Lindgren, Christopher Legler, Michael Bertzyk, Buckie Rehwinkel, and Becky Holman were charged with participating in a conspiracy to deliver heroin in Waushara County between April 2011 and June 2012.

The state charges against all six of these individuals in state court were dismissed, without prejudice, on November 8, 2012, after they were indicted in federal court.

The Waushara County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) -- Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigated this case with assistance from Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force.

Waushara County District Attorney Scott Blader and DOJ Assistant Attorney General Karie Cattanach represented the State of Wisconsin in this prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Mario Gonzales will represent the federal government in this prosecution.

While each of the above individuals has been charged with criminal offenses, each is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Government has the burden to prove their guilt for these offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.


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