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Man charged for housing jail escapees
Ronald G. Goodman, Sr., 57, left, and Brandon J. Disrud, 25, right, face felony charges in connection to a string of burglaries in May 2012.
MONROE - Charges filed this week allege a former Brodhead man helped escaped prisoners burglarize homes in Green and Iowa counties last May in an attempt to recoup some of the $150,000 he lost to Internet scammers he thought were potential lovers.

Ronald G. Goodman, Sr., 57, faces three felony counts of harboring and aiding a felon, three felony counts of burglary as a party to a crime and two misdemeanor counts of theft. A warrant for his arrest was issued Tuesday, June 25.

The burglaries happened just weeks before Goodman robbed a Fitchburg convenience store at gunpoint, using a shoplifted BB gun. He was convicted last November and faced up to 40 years in prison but spent only seven months in jail, after the Dane County judge hearing the case received positive letters about Goodman from community members, including three ministers.

One of the men who allegedly carried out the burglaries, Brandon J. Disrud, 25, was also charged Tuesday. He faces felony counts of burglary, armed burglary and theft and misdemeanor counts of theft and damaging property.

Two other men are implicated in the burglaries, 24-year-old Brandon Garecht and 33-year-old Nicholas Jay Batzler. Court records indicate all three are in Illinois prisons. Disrud and Garecht are currently serving sentences for a residential burglary in Stephenson County, Ill., from the same time period as the Wisconsin burglaries.

All three have lengthy criminal records.

In contrast, Goodman's tangles with the law are recent. The 57-year-old had no criminal record in Wisconsin prior to 2012. His legal troubles began in late 2011, when he was caught writing worthless checks. By May 2012, his wife had successfully petitioned for a divorce from him and he had moved alone to Albany.

Court records reveal a downward spiral sparked by the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Goodman's construction business was in heavy debt and he was losing more through an Internet scam, referred to in court documents as "a Nigerian scam." He lost at least $150,000 and up to $200,000 to scammers in about a year.

He met foreign women online through the dating site and eventually started sending money to their "lawyers" to help them come to the U.S. to be with him. Disrud later told an investigator Goodman said he wanted the women to be his "sex slaves."

Disrud and Goodman met through a church when a pastor asked Goodman to "mentor" Disrud, according to statements Goodman made to an investigator.

Goodman allowed Batzler, Disrud and Garecht to stay in his Albany home after they escaped from the Rock County Jail while out on work release in mid-May. He also allegedly let them use his red 2000 Chevy pickup truck to commit the burglaries, then used his skid-steer loader to move two large stolen safes and hide them in a brushy area on his ex-wife's property near Brodhead.

In exchange, the trio allegedly promised Goodman a $3,000 cut from their burglary loot.

The Green County burglaries were of residences in the W8100 block of Apple Grove Road in rural Argyle, in the W6300 block of Iliff Road in Monroe Township and in the W5900 block of Melvin Road in Clarno Township.

In all, $12,400 worth of belongings were stolen, including jewelry, valuable coins and a pair of Swarovski binoculars. A .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol was also stolen.

No court dates have yet been scheduled.