DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 24, 2020
Matthew D. Krueger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Kenneth Gales

Melrose Park, IL Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Federal Kidnapping and Transporting His Victim From Wisconsin to Illinois

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on February 21, 2020, Wayne Grills (age 57), Melrose Park, IL was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. The Court further imposed a restitution order for $8,515.80 and a special assessment of $100.00.

The sentence imposed by United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, was the result of a guilty plea entered by the defendant on November 16, 2019. Grills pled guilty to unlawfully and willfully seizing, kidnapping, abducting, and carrying away the victim from Wisconsin to Illinois, and holding her for purposes of retaliation, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1201(a)(1).           

Despite a history of Domestic Violence which caused the victim to end their relationship in September, 2017, Grills tried repeatedly to contact the victim but she blocked his calls, and filed a complaint with the Greenfield Police Department for which Grills was ticketed for harassing behavior.  After not having contact with Grills for ten months, on June 9, 2018, the victim awoke in the middle night to find Grills at the foot of her bed after he broke into the home she shared with her three children.  He forced her into his van and took her, by gun point, from Milwaukee to Chicago.  Along the way, he stopped her from escaping and raped her.  Through the heroic efforts of the Greenfield Police Department, the victim was found, held against her will, in the defendant’s garage in Melrose Park, IL.

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Stadtmueller stated “Mr. Grills learned very little when it comes to respect of the law, to respecting family and to respecting the community.”  He also said, “There is no excuse at all for what the defendant did.”  He commented that he had a very lengthy record compromised of 16 criminal convictions that counted under the guidelines and many that did not and also had 32 arrests.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, and the Greenfield Police Department. It was prosecuted by United States Assistant United States Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Benjamin A. Wesson.

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Chicago Field Division