Two indicted for crimes on Menominee Indian Reservation

Both men have trials scheduled for February 2024
Kevin Murphy

Two men were recently indicted in federal court, one for alleged theft, and a second for drug offenses on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Merwin J. “Pete” Wynos Jr, 35, of Keshena, was charged with theft in Indian Country for allegedly stealing property valued in excess of $1,000 from four companies at a construction site on the reservation.

The alleged theft occurred on or about Sept. 25, 2023.

On Nov. 29, Wynos was arraigned on the charge and ordered into detention by Magistrate Judge James Sicklel who found that the weight of evidence against Wynos was strong, his prior criminal history and his previous failure to appear in court as ordered.

Trial was set for Feb. 5, 2024.

If convicted, Wynos faces maximum penalties of five years in prison and three years’ supervised release.

In his prior conviction for burglary and assaulting Menominee Tribal Police Officer Vincent Grignon, Wynos was arrested for the June 1, 2015, burglary of the Thunderbird Convenience store.

Grignon approached a car stopped on County Road V V that was reportedly involved in the burglary. Grignon recognized Wynos behind the wheel of the car and ordered him to shut off the engine and show his hands.

Instead, Grignon accelerated the car toward Grignon, who jumped into the door frame of his squad and pulled the door closed to avoid being hit.

Wynos then fled driving in excess of 100 mph before running off the road in Shawano County. When law enforcement approached the stopped car, Wynos was observed drinking liquor stolen from the Thunderbird store.

In May 2016, Wynos was sentenced to three years in prison and placed on three years’ supervised release for burglary and resisting arrest.

His supervision was revoked in June 2021 and Wynos was sentenced to an additional six months’ incarceration.

Also recently indicted is a former Wausau man for drug charges allegedly occurring on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

Charles A. Parham, also known as “Red” and “Cuzzo,” faces five to 40 years in prison if convicted for possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute.

Parham allegedly sold fentanyl on Sept. 29 and allegedly possessed 40 grams of fentanyl on Oct. 12 at the tribal casino.

Parham was arraigned on the charges on Nov. 30. His trial date is Feb. 5, 2024.

He is in custody in the Shawano County Jail, according to online courts records.