Prison Ordered for Woman Convicted in Sawyer County Meth Trafficking

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |

A woman was sentenced to serve several years in Wisconsin State Prison on her conviction for involvement in trafficking methamphetamine in Sawyer County at a sentencing hearing on March 5, 2018, in Sawyer County Circuit Court.

According to online circuit court records, at a sentencing hearing on March 5, 2018, the Hon. John M. Yackel ordered a 15-year sentence for Ariana Barber on her conviction of Class C Felony Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine (in an amount greater than 50 grams). Barber entered a plea of No Contest to her charges in August 2017.

Ariana Barber

Barber was ordered to serve 5 years initial confinement in State Prison, followed by 10 years extended supervision. Barber received credit for 149 days served.

William Koch

According to the criminal complaint filed against Barber in Sawyer County Circuit Court, she was involved in the same methamphetamine trafficking ring that resulted in a sentence of 28 years for William Koch on his conviction for Class C Felony Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine (greater than 50 grams). Judge Yackel sentenced Koch to serve 15 years of initial confinement which is to be followed by 13 years of extended supervision. According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections website, Koch is eligible to be released in 2031.

An investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) along with Sawyer County Law Enforcement, as well as Rusk County Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement in the State of Kansas, led to criminal charges against several other individuals in September 2016 including Domminic Haugen, Trent Ladwig, Travis Ladwig, Christine Breault, and Terry Meyers. 

The criminal complaint filed against Barber states that information was provided to Law Enforcement from multiple sources that Barber had lived with Koch for a time and was heavily involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine in Sawyer County along with Koch, Breault, Haugen, Meyers and both Trent and Travis Ladwig.

During the course of the investigation, which began as early as December 2015, multiple controlled buys were completed. The press release from the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office states that over 770 grams of methamphetamine were seized as a result of this investigation.

Confidential informants who cooperated with Law Enforcement throughout this investigation told officers of seeing gallon size & ‘large’ ziplock bags nearly full of methamphetamine during some of the controlled buys. During one controlled buy, officers saw Breault pushing a stroller with a young child in it. After the completion of the controlled buy, the confidential informant told officers that Breault had the methamphetamine (which was later weighed in at over 3 grams) concealed in a false-bottomed “Red Bull” container on the stroller.

The criminal complaint filed against Barber goes on to describe how Koch was coordinating the purchase of methamphetamine, wiring money to pay for it, and having it shipped to addresses in Sawyer County. 

Law Enforcement from Phillipsburg, Kansas contacted DCI Agents in July 2016 to advise that Ladwig and Barber had been taken into custody in Kansas for traffic and weapons violations and that Barber had been in possession of methamphetamine at the time of her arrest. Ladwig escaped arrest but was subsequently captured. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation also advised Wisconsin DCI that William Koch had previously lived in Kansas and had been interviewed as recently as 2015 regarding his involvement in drug trafficking activity in Kansas. According to online circuit court records, Barber had also previously resided in Kansas. 

When officers reviewed Koch’s criminal history, it was confirmed that he had been convicted of felony crimes in Nevada, including Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and Attempted Grand Larceny.

During the course of further controlled buys, confidential informants provided Law Enforcement with information that Domminic Haugen was working with William Koch to coordinate selling the methamphetamine. 

On August 15, 2016, a package containing methamphetamine that had been shipped from Las Vegas, NV to an address in Exeland, WI was intercepted and seized by Law Enforcement; the package contained nearly 700 grams of methamphetamine. When officers went to the address listed on the package, they located Terry Meyers and he was placed under arrest.

Koch and Haugen were both arrested on August 15, 2016, during the execution of a search warrant at Haugen’s residence. Also located during that search warrant was a loaded 9mm pistol with the serial number obliterated.

Another search warrant was conducted on August 15, 2016, at Breault’s residence; leading to the seizure of methamphetamine and the arrest of Breault.

Christine Breault

According to online circuit court records, in October 2017, Christine Breault was sentenced by Judge Yackel to 23 years for her charge of Class C Felony Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine in Sawyer County Circuit Court. Breault is serving 8 years of confinement in Wisconsin State Prison, to be followed by 15 years extended supervision. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections website indicates that Breault is eligible for release in 2024.

Trent Ladwig

On August 8, 2017, Trent Ladwig was sentenced in Sawyer County Circuit Court to 5 years of probation with 1 year of conditional jail for a conviction of Class F Felony Manufacture/Deliver Amphetamine (less than or equal to 3 grams). He was also ordered to undergo an Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment and follow through with any recommendations. Judge Yackel granted a 60-month deferred entry of judgment on Trent’s plea of Guilty to a second charge of Class C Felony Manufacture/Deliver Amphetamine (greater than 50 grams).

Domminic Haugen

Haugen is facing charges in Sawyer County Circuit Court of Class C Felony Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine (greater than 50 grams), Class E Felony Manufacture/Deliver Methamphetamine (greater than 3 grams, but not more than 10 grams), Class D Felony Manufacture/Deliver Methamphetamine (greater than 10 grams but not more than 50 grams), Class C Felony Manufacture/Deliver Methamphetamine (greater than 50 grams- Party to a Crime), and Class I Felony Maintain Drug Trafficking Place. Online circuit court records show that a 5-day Jury Trial is scheduled for October 2018 on Haugen’s charges.

Charges of Class D Felony Hit and Run - Involve Death are also filed against Haugen in Burnett County Circuit Court. DrydenWire reported on that case at the time of the incident in which Haugen allegedly struck a woman with a vehicle resulting in her death.

A 5-day Jury Trial is scheduled in Burnett County Circuit Court regarding those charges. 

Terry Meyers

A charge of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Manufacture/Deliver Amphetamine is filed against Terry Meyers in Sawyer County Court.  According to online circuit court records, a 2-day Jury Trial is scheduled on Meyers’ charge. 

Travis Ladwig

Travis Ladwig was charged in Sawyer County Circuit Court with Class C Felony Conspiracy to Manufacture/Deliver Amphetamine (greater than 50 grams) in September 2016. That case was dismissed, however, the charge was re-filed in July 2017. A 9-day Jury Trial is scheduled for July 2018 on Travis’ criminal case. 

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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