October 16, 2013
Contact: Special Agent Sharon Santiago
Phone Number: (312) 353-0442
Six Defendants Federally Charged With Drug Conspiracy And Money Laundering
MILWAUKEE - Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which includes Wisconsin, and James L. Santelle, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that a 13-count indictment was unsealed in federal court charging six defendants with various drug-trafficking offenses and money laundering. The defendants, who are alleged to distribute marijuana in and around the Milwaukee metropolitan area, are charged with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B) and 846, and money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956.
The defendants are identified as: Edward (38) of Whitefish Bay; Paul (42) of Willits, California; Kevin Breitzman of (29); Paul (27) of Germantown; Andrea (29) of New Berlin; and John (39) of Milwaukee. The defendants are charged in the following counts.
Earlier this morning, law enforcement arrested five of the individuals. One individual, Paul Heiniger, has not yet been taken into custody. In addition to the arrests, numerous law enforcement agencies executed a total of 15 federal search warrants, recovering several pounds of high-grade marijuana, 11 firearms, and approximately $90,000 U.S. currency.
The charges unsealed today were the result of a long-term investigation by DEA, acting in concert with the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice/Division of Criminal Investigation, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, ATF, IRS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. Also providing assistance were the Whitefish Bay PD, Glendale PD, Fox Point PD, and Mequon PD.
According to the affidavit, the defendants were involved in a drug trafficking organization that obtained large quantities of marijuana from Northern California for distribution within the Milwaukee area. The defendants also used numerous addresses in the Milwaukee area to receive marijuana shipments through the United States mail. Certain conspirators, including defendant Edward Patterson, used the three Milwaukee area McDonald’s restaurants that are owned by defendant Edward Patterson to fund their drug-trafficking activities, to conceal their drug proceeds, and to promote their drug-trafficking activities.
“Our top priority is dismantling drug trafficking organizations,” said SAC Riley. “DEA stands shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners in our joint effort to target criminal organizations and hold them accountable for their actions,” he added.
United States Attorney James L. Santelle commented: “The indictments that we are unsealing today-and the related law enforcement work that includes the arrests of those charged, the searches of businesses, and the seizures of firearms and money-are the product of a coordinated, productive, and long-standing partnership among our federal, state, and local colleagues-all committed to promoting the safety of our citizenry and the security of our community. The charges of drug distribution, money laundering, firearms possession, and mail transport reflect not only the nature and the scope of the destructive conduct of these defendants, now brought to an end, but also the abiding, focused, and effective mission of all law enforcement, both within the state of Wisconsin and nationwide, in addressing this kind of criminal behavior in all of its aspects.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget J. Domaszek and Laura S. Kwaterski. If convicted of the drug conspiracy, the defendants face a maximum of 40 years’ imprisonment and a mandatory minimum term of 5 years’ imprisonment.
An indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.