Merrill woman sentenced to three years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine

For the Tomahawk Leader

MADISON – A Merrill woman was sentenced to three years in prison this week for her role in a drug trafficking operation.

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced on Thursday, Feb. 16 that Nicole Elsholtz, 35, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to three years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Elsholtz pleaded guilty to the charge on March 14, 2022.

According to a release from O’Shea’s office, a government investigation revealed that Elsholtz purchased large amounts of methamphetamine from co-defendant Levi Bagne between July 2019 and June 2020.

“Bagne and co-defendant Krista Sparks routinely mailed packages containing methamphetamine from Arizona to co-defendant Cory Freyermuth in Oshkosh, Wis.,” the release stated. “Once Bagne let her know that the methamphetamine had arrived, Elsholtz would drive to Oshkosh and get it from Freyermuth.”

After driving back to Merrill, Elsholtz sold the methamphetamine to a variety of customers, according to the release.

Bagne, Freyermuth, and Sparks each pleaded guilty to participating in this methamphetamine distribution scheme and were sentenced by Judge Peterson to prison sentences of 16 years, 8 ½ years, and 2 ½ years, respectively.

The release said the charge against Elsholtz was the result of a joint investigation by the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Unit and the Merrill Police Department.

The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner handled the prosecution.

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