After an eight-month investigation, three siblings have been charged with several federal crimes involving fully-automatic machine guns, explosives, and drugs. Melissa Simmons (born 1975) of Wheatland, and her two brothers, James Rukstales (36) of Paddock Lake and Erik Rukstales (32) of Wheatland were all charged on March 13, 2023. The indictments were unsealed in the United States Eastern District of Wisconsin on or about April 6, 2023.
According to the federal indictment that was recently unsealed, the case started with a confidential informant that met with Kenosha Police in July of 2022. The CI reported that Melissa Simmons, who does cocaine and meth, was observed with explosives and pounds of marijuana. She also makes marijuana butter. Simmons demonstrated one of the explosives at a party the CI was at that made a loud boom and sent debris flying into the air. The CI learned that Simmons sells all of theses items. Simons explained that the explosives were made at James’ house in Paddock Lake. The CI has pending cases against him or her and is expecting to get a deal out of testifying in this case.
The CI made a controlled by of a quarter pound of marijuana and 10 explosive devices. Law enforcement set up video surveillance and the CI had a camera and audio recording device. The CI bought the explosives for $17/each and the 4 ounces of pot for $550. The CI left the house and gave the contraband to ATF agents. They tested positive for explosives. Police also got a warrant to place a GPS on one or more of the siblings’ cars. Simmons told the CI that they had plans to sell flash-bangs too but it made people nervous about the cops finding out.
On March 8, 2023 federal agents and local law enforcement agents conducted three search warrants in Wheatland and Paddock Lake. Agents found:
Dozens of Guns
Gun(s) with no serial numbers
17.5 Pounds of Marijuana
Explosive Device Components and Tools
Hundreds of Explosives
The three are facing many years in federal prison. They were all released on with a cashless bail.
Below Photos Courtesy U.S. Attorney: