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Rice Lake man sentenced to prison for meth charge

A Rice Lake man has been sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it.

Mark W. Lewis, 57, pleaded guilty to the charge on July 20. He was sentenced Oct. 26 by Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson.

Lewis was arrested twice while operating a vehicle in the summer of 2016 with quantities of meth, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Scott Blader. During one of these arrests, Lewis possessed a loaded firearm.

Judge Peterson found that Lewis was responsible for over 98 grams of meth. The judge noted that this was a serious crime and the substantial term of imprisonment is necessary to deter the defendant, to send a message to society and to protect the public from drug dealers.

The charge against Lewis was the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and the Washburn and Sawyer County Sheriffs' Departments.

The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Halverson.