Investigation of Overdose Heroin Death Results in
Drug Conspiracy Charges Against Fourteen Defendants
DEC 7 -- (Milwaukee) Fourteen defendants were charged in federal court on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 for knowingly and intentionally conspiring with each other and others to distribute heroin. The criminal complaint, announced by Michelle L. Jacobs, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, also alleges that death and serious bodily harm resulted from the use of heroin distributed by the conspiracy.
The defendants are identified as:
Christine R. Perkins (30) of Milwaukee
Information provided in the criminal complaint that was filed in federal court indicates that the investigation was initiated when the Oak Creek Police Department began investigating the overdose death of Nicholas Dybul on July 26, 2008. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the source of the heroin was based in Milwaukee. Investigators from the Milwaukee HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), which is composed of agents and detectives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, joined the investigation. The culmination of the investigation resulted in the execution of federal search and arrest warrants in Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Franklin, Greenfield and Hales Corners. The search warrants resulted in the seizure of heroin, one firearm, and other drug trafficking related evidence.
"This case underlines the dangers of illicit drug usage, while exemplifying law enforcement’s ability to target and dismantle drug distribution networks that attempt to erode the fabric of our communities," stated Stephen A. Luzinski, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's Chicago Field Division, which covers the state of Wisconsin. "This is a classic example of the synergistic effect that cooperation between law enforcement agencies can have on criminal enterprises."
United States Attorney Jacobs commended the multiple law enforcement agencies involved in the sixteen-month joint investigation. Jacobs also commended Milwaukee Police Detective Matthew Cooper and DEA Special Agent Ellen Roy for their continued work on heroin cases.
As currently charged, all defendants face between 20 years and life imprisonment, a fine up to $4,000,000 and five years to life of supervised release.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.