WASHINGTON, July 12, 2017 — Russel Wetenkamp of Manitowoc, Wisc., pled guilty and was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin to criminal violations related to the Plant Protection Act (PPA). Wetenkamp fraudulently marked wooden pallets indicating that they were compliant with the regulations under the PPA that govern the use of wood packaging material in international trade even though they had not been properly treated to prevent the spread of wood-boring pests.
As part of a plea agreement, Wetenkamp pled guilty to violating the Act and making a false statement (18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2); 7 U.S.C. § 7734(a)(1)(A)), which are both criminal charges. Wetenkamp was sentenced to pay a $25,000 fine, complete a two-year probation term, and pay restitution in the amount of $18,748 to his customers.
From November 2014 until April 2015, Wetenkamp, who was working as the Site General Manager of the Timber Creek Resources’ Newton, Wisconsin, facility, sold falsely stamped pallets to numerous customers.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.