Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Russel Wetenkamp Sentenced to Two Years’ Probation, Fined More Than $25,000 for Environmental Crime

This is an archive page.  The links in this content are no longer being updated.

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.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Complementary Content