Chippewa Falls man, two others from Barron Co. indicted by feder - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa Falls man, two others from Barron Co. indicted by federal grand jury

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(WQOW) - Three area people have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Shane Johnson, 40, Chippewa Falls, is charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The indictment alleges that he possessed the methamphetamine on November 23, 2017. If convicted, Johnson 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 Chippewa Falls Police Department, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Village of Lake Hallie Police Department, West Central Drug Task Force, and U.S. Postal Service. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

As News 18 previously reported, Johnson is already charged with providing drugs in an overdose death.

Deborah R. Marcellus, 63, Turtle Lake, is charged with seven counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing a false income tax return. The indictment alleges that she filed false income tax returns for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, in which she under-reported her adjusted gross income. The indictment alleges that from January 2011 to April 2017, Marcellus devised a scheme to defraud St. Joseph’s Catholic Congregation, a church and parish located in Rice Lake.

During this time period, Marcellus served as the Director of Development for St. Joseph’s, and was responsible for handling all financial and accounting matters for the church. The indictment alleges that Marcellus misappropriated approximately $818,604 from St. Joseph’s bank accounts and used the funds for her personal benefit, including gambling. The indictment also alleges that Marcellus generated checks to herself from checking accounts maintained by St. Joseph’s, and concealed her conduct by changing the name of the payee for the checks to a legitimate vendor of the church in the financial records maintained by the church.

In addition, the indictment alleges that Marcellus forged the signature of an authorized signatory for the St. Joseph’s checking accounts on the fraudulently obtained checks. If convicted, Marcellus faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each of the wire fraud charges, and five years on each of the tax charges. The charges against Marcellus are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.

Daniel Swessel, 33, Barron, is charged with two counts of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The indictment alleges that he possessed methamphetamine on September 1 and October 11, 2017, and further alleges that on October 11, he possessed 50 grams or more of the drug.

News 18 also reported on Swessel, who was on the loose at the time.

If convicted, Swessel faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on count 1, and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years on count 2. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Barron County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.

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