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Nelson Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud & Weapons Charge

A change of plea in the federal charges against Garland Joseph Nelson was entered Tuesday morning.  The 28-year-old Nelson, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to one count of mail fraud and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  As a result, Nelson must forfeit to the government at least $215,936, which represents the proceeds of his fraud scheme.

On Friday, Nelson had pled guilty to state charges of first-degree murder, in the deaths of Nicholas and Justin Diemel, the targets of the fraud scheme.  He was sentenced to two life sentences without parole on the state charges.  Those sentences are to run consecutively.

Under federal statutes, Nelson is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus another two years in federal prison for violation of his supervised release in his 2015 case.

Sentencing on the federal charges has not been scheduled.