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Feds take over prosecution of Henschel fatal overdose death

by
Randy Lindgren (left) and John Gearnhardt
Randy Lindgren (left) and John Gearnhardt

WAUTOMA, WI (WTAQ) - The prosecution of a drug case in Waushara County that includes an overdose death has been taken over by the federal government.

In April, Amalia Henschel died in Redgranite of a drug overdose. Two men, Randy Lindgren and John Gearnhardt, were charged in state court with first-degree reckless homicide for allegedly providing the drugs. Several other people were charged in connection with drug distribution.

But in light of a federal indictment filed this week in Milwaukee, Waushara County District Attorney Scott Blader has dismissed the state charges against Gearnhardt and Lindgren.

Besides those two, a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance with death as a result were filed against Ronald "Benny" McDaniels, Theresa Lindgren, Christopher "Legs" legos, Buckie Rehwinkel, Becky Holman and Ronnie Wells. 

If convicted, the federal charge carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, whereas the state charge has no minimum sentence, Blader noted. He praised the federal government for taking the case, given the expansive nature of the drug ring and charges involved. 

The defendants have been transferred to federal custody, Blader said. 

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