ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Wisconsin

www.justice.gov/usao/wiw

For Immediate Release

July 12, 2012

United States Attorney

Contact: AUSA Assigned to Case
(608) 246-5158

FEDERAL GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENTS

Madison, Wisconsin – A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

FITCHBURG MAN CHARGED WITH FRAUD SCHEME

Christian Peterson, 42, Fitchburg, Wis., is charged with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of making a false statement to a financial institution, and four counts of money laundering. The indictment alleges that Peterson misrepresented to banks that loans and a business line of credit were intended for a legitimate business purpose when, in fact, he used all or a portion of each loan and line of credit to gamble at casinos or for personal
expenses. The indictment also alleges that Peterson claimed that certain accounts receivable were loans when in fact they were the result of gambling debts.

If convicted, Peterson faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison on each bank fraud and false statement count, and a maximum penalty of 10 years on each money laundering charge. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul W. Connell.

MINNESOTA MAN CHARGED WITH PRODUCING FALSE IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

Cherub Kumar, 19, Woodbury, Minn., is charged with two counts of producing a false identification document, two counts of transferring a false identification document, and one count of trafficking in false authentication features for use in false identification documents.

The indictment alleges that Kumar produced and transferred a false Florida driver's license in February 2012, and produced and transferred a false Ohio driver's license in March 2012. The indictment also alleges that he transported 300 counterfeit holographic overlays for use in producing false drivers' licenses.

If convicted, Kumar faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison on each count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and University of Wisconsin Police Department. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Duchemin.

SUPERIOR RESIDENT CHARGED WITH POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Samuel L. Dewitt, 40, Superior, Wis., is charged with distributing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and with possessing a computer hard drive containing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment alleges that he distributed the child pornography on November 6, 2011 and that he possessed the hard drive on December 15, 2011.

If convicted, Dewitt faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

WATERTOWN MAN FACES CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

Russell J. Forsman, 43, Watertown, Wis., is charged with knowingly receiving visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment alleges that on February 28, 2005, Forsman received an e-mail containing a child pornography video. The indictment also charges Forsman with possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that on October 27, 2011, he possessed CDs containing visual depictions of child pornography.

If convicted, Forsman faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison . The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Milwaukee Police Department. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

This case, and the Dewitt case, were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

MADISON MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARM

Christopher Carthans, 23, Madison, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that he possessed a 9mm pistol on May 15, 2012.

If convicted, Carthans faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department, Fitchburg Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

RHINELANDER MAN CHARGED WITH GUN CRIMES

John W. Houghton, 43, Rhinelander, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition and possessing ammunition after previously being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The indictment alleges that he possessed the ammunition on May 31, 2012.

If convicted, Houghton faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Rhinelander Police Department and Oneida County Sheriff's Department. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

CHICAGO MAN CHARGED WITH MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT WHEN ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE A FIREARM

Jeffrey R. Vali, 32, Chicago, is charged with making a false written statement when attempting to purchase a 9mm semi-automatic pistol from a licensed firearms dealer in Prairie du Chien, Wis., on June 22, 2012. The indictment alleges that Vali falsely stated he was a resident of Wisconsin and resided in Neenah, Wis.

If convicted, Valli faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case will be handled by United States Attorney John W. Vaudreuil.

MADISON MAN CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTING COCAINE

Rodolfo Juarez, 37, Madison, Wis., is charged with distributing cocaine. The indictment alleges that he distributed 500 grams or more of cocaine on June 25, 2012.

If convicted, Juarez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Munish Sharda.

FOUR CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY REENTERING U.S.

In separate indictments, four individuals have been charged with reentering the United States after previously being deported. The persons charged are:

  • Arturo Gomez-Maturin, 41, a citizen of Mexico, found in Dane County on June 14, 2012;
  • Alvaro Cano-Oyarzabal, 31, a citizen of Mexico, found in Clark County on June 14, 2012;
  • Isaac Gutierrez-Blandon, 33, a citizen of Nicaragua, found in Dane County on July 2, 2012; and
  • Rafael Carrera-Flores, 39, a citizen of Mexico, found in Juneau County on May 4, 2012.

If convicted, each person faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charges against them are the result of investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The prosecution of these cases will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O'Shea.

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