MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – A 27-year-old man will spend the next 12 years in federal prison for distributing a significant amount of methamphetamine as part of a conspiracy.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Victor Pennington from Tomah was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for distributing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, followed by five years of supervised release.

Authorities began investigating Pennington in January 2021, and through the course, they utilized confidential informants to purchase over 100 grams of methamphetamine from him or his co-defendant, Lucas Ellwart, on three separate occasions.

Officers also learned that Pennington was using another individual, Kyle Ritchie, to purchase firearms on his behalf.

Pennington is prohibited from legally possessing or purchasing firearms as a result of several felony convictions, including two Wisconsin convictions related to methamphetamine from 2019.

Victor Pennington and Lucas Ellwart were arrested in September 2021 after a 33-mile high-speed chase. Officers attempted to pull the two over after their return from Minnesota, where they allegedly had purchased a large amount of methamphetamine.

After Pennington and Ellwart took off, Pennington instructed Ellwart to throw the methamphetamine out of the vehicle. Officers later recovered over 700 grams of the illegal drug along the route of the chase.

In the sentencing, Judge William Conley noted that the defendant was under Wisconsin supervision at the time of these offenses. Judge Conley continued to reason that a significant sentence was warranted due to the sheer volume of methamphetamine the defendant distributed, including to low-level dealers in central Wisconsin.

Pennington is the last of the three to be sentenced. Lucas Ellwart was sentenced to six years in prison for the distribution of methamphetamine, while Kyle Ritchie was sentenced to two years for making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

The charge against Pennington was a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force comprised of investigators from the FBI, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Wausau Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Everest Metro Police Department, Wisconsin’s National Guard Counterdrug Program, and the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office.