Judge Stadtmueller nears 2,200th sentence with Milwaukee construction exec's case.

 
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Byline: Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Judge J.P. Stadtmueller of the Eastern District of Wisconsin reached a milestone in his career at a Milwaukee construction executive's sentencing hearing this morning. Stadtmueller said Brian Ganos was close to the 2,200th defendant he's sentenced in his 33 years on the bench.

Ganos, the former owner of Sonag Construction, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing child pornography, in exchange for the court dropping a third charge. On Friday morning, Stadtmueller sentenced Ganos to 32 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

The 32-month prison sentence will run concurrent with the six-and-a-half years Ganos is serving for a decades-long construction contract fraud scheme. The plot netted his firms more than $250 million by exploiting programs used to help minority companies win construction contracts.

Stadtmueller said Ganos' fraud conviction added to the difficulty of deciding what was an appropriate punishment for the child porn charges. Ganos' criminal-history score increased from one to three because of the fraud charges.

Stadtmueller was also mindful of the sentences he's imposed in 13 previous cases he's heard involving child pornography, though he said most of which occurred before "Congress began to meddle with sentencing guidelines."

"At the end of the day, the court is left with trying to figure out how to best accommodate all of these competing interests," Stadtmueller said. "Each and every oneis troubling because they deal with the reality that ... they are viewed in the lives of our most precious...

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