November 19, 2020
Contact: Todd Smith
Phone Number: 312-353-7875
Fourteen People Charged with Trafficking Heroin, Fentanyl, and Cocaine in Racine, Wisconsin
Robert J. Bell, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration - Chicago Division and Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that 14 defendants have been charged in federal court in connection with a drug trafficking organization that operated in Racine, Wisconsin, with ties to Chicago, Illinois. The indictment charges the defendants with trafficking more than 100 grams of heroin, more than 40 grams of fentanyl, and more than 28 grams of cocaine base in the form of “crack” cocaine. If convicted, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and up to forty years in prison.
On November 18, 2020, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers conducted a significant operation that led to the arrest of 10 of these defendants. The officers also executed search warrants in Racine. As a result of the investigation, officers seized 7 firearms, including a shotgun and ammunition; quantities of drugs, including over 200 grams of heroin, over 100 grams of crack cocaine, over 50 grams of fentanyl, and various quantities of suboxone strips, oxycodone pills and PCP. Officers also seized approximately $8,000 in U.S. currency. No one was injured during the operation.
United States Attorney Krueger said in announcing this takedown: “Drug trafficking organizations fuel our nation’s twin epidemics of drug addiction and firearms violence. These arrests underscore the extraordinary collaboration among all levels of law enforcement to pursue drug traffickers and hold them accountable.”
“The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is committed to working with its local, state and federal law enforcement partners to keep Wisconsin citizens safe from drug trafficking and the violence that is always associated with it. Today’s arrests show the resolve of law enforcement to bring to justice those who profit from the national drug epidemic,” said DEA Milwaukee District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul E. Maxwell.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hughes said: “Shared resources and intelligence among law enforcement partners led to the successful takedown of an organized drug trafficking operation, and the arrests of multiple subjects. The FBI’s Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Gang Task Force in Racine will continue to work with our partners to keep our communities free of drugs and violence.”
“Drug dealers profit from putting dangerous, addictive, and oftentimes deadly poison into the hands of our community. They also frequently possess firearms to further their criminal enterprise,” said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling. “This extensive, protracted investigation, and ultimately the outcome, would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. This operation is a huge win for the law abiding citizens of Racine County. “
“The Racine Police Department would like to thank the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI, along with all the local law enforcement agencies for this collaborative investigation. We will continue to strive to make the greater Racine community a great place to live,” said Art Howell, Chief of Police, City of Racine Police Department.
Mount Pleasant Police Department Chief of Police Matt Soens stated, “The Mount Pleasant Police Department supports the enforcement and prosecution of dangerous drug traffickers that contribute to drug addiction, drug overdoses, and violence throughout our communities. Through the assistance of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, we are able to thoroughly investigate these traffickers and hold them accountable.”
The defendants were charged based on an investigation led by law enforcement agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the North Central High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Racine County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Kenosha Police Department, the City of Racine Police Department, and the City of Mount Pleasant Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Mario Gonzales is prosecuting the case.
The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.