MILWAUKEE– Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and a coalition of law enforcement agencies announced on Thursday, Jan. 16, that 26 people have been charged with being part of a significant cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl trafficking operation between Puerto Rico and Milwaukee.
They have been charged with trafficking at least five kilograms or more of cocaine and distributable quantities of trafficked heroin and fentanyl. They were charged by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Matthew D. Krueger.
Six of the defendants are from Puerto Rico, while the rest are from Milwaukee. They range from 24 to 51 years old. Five of them are over 40; the rest are in their 20s and 30s.
“This case shows the impact that intensive investigations targeting large-scale drug trafficking can have,” said Kaul. “When local, state, and federal investigators work together, as they have in this case, we can disrupt the supply of narcotics to Wisconsin and help people avoid addiction. Thank you to the brave law enforcement professionals at DCI and other agencies who have worked on this case.”
Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 22 of the defendants on Wednesday. The officers also executed search warrants in Milwaukee and Puerto Rico, resulting in the seizure of approximately 15 kilograms of cocaine, at least 50 grams of heroin, at least 80 grams of crack cocaine, 35 firearms (25 handguns, eight rifles, one fully automatic handgun, and one sawed-off shotgun) and approximately $267,000 in U.S. currency.
The defendants were charged based on a multi-year investigation led by law enforcement agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the North Central High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the City of New Berlin Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Robert Brady and Gail Hoffman.
"The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty," the Department of Justice said.
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