KENOSHA/RACINE COUNTIES (WITI) -- More than 44 people face serious drug charges after a raid that covered Racine and Kenosha counties. Authorities say they recovered crack, heroin and illegal guns. Federal, state and local officials announced the arrests Wednesday, April 29th -- calling this the biggest drug bust in Kenosha County history.
"Undercover agents, surveillance, wiretaps and the execution of approximately 20 search warrants in the Kenosha area," United States Attorney Gregory Haanstad said.
"I believe and hope that this investigation has severed a large pipeline of heroin coming into the city of Kenosha," Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey said.
Authorities have criminally charged a total of 44 people. Twenty of those people face state charges. Four are in custody.
Twenty-four people have been federally indicted, charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances -- including heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine.
The following individuals have been federally indicted:
- 40-year-old Patrick L. Young
- 33-year-old Larry J. Garrett
- 40-year-old Charlie B. Nelson
- 32-year-old Dai-Cheri Rashada
- 30-year-old Lamont M. Dallas
- 39-year-old Sebastian O. King
- 35-year-old Terrance M. Jones
- 36-year-old Marvin C. Seay
- 39-year-old Joel Wright
- 42-year-old Pierre J. Tyson
- 26-year-old Bryan I. Thomas
- 32-year-old Darius L. Allen
- 33-year-old Henry T. Wade
- 29-year-old Bernard L. Jedkins
- 45-year-old Tony Gilmore
- 36-year-old Dionia Scott
- 31-year-old Marcus Butler
- 34-year-old Shawn Tucker
- 26-year-old Jondelyn Jackson
- 26-year-old Myles Washington
- 35-year-old Lloyd Randle Jr.
- 34-year-old Edward Tanner Jr.
- 26-year-old Larry Ashley Jr.
- 28-year-old Jerrod Patterson
All the defendants except Randle, Tanner, Ashley and Patterson are charged with offenses punishable by up to 40 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Randle, Tanner, Ashley and Patterson face up to life imprisonment if convicted.
Various defendants are also charged with substantive drug distribution counts. The majority of the suspects arrested were members of the "Gangster Disciple Street Gang" and all of them operated in Kenosha and Racine Counties.
On Tuesday, April 28th, law enforcement officers arrested 12 of these defendants. Five were already in custody. Seven are still at large, including:
- Larry Garrett
- Lamont Dallas
- Marcus Butler
- Bernard Jedkins
- Jerrod Patterson
- Lloyd Randle
- Jondelyn Jackson
In addition, 12 defendants were charged by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office with narcotics offenses.
Law enforcement arrested four of those defendants. Eight are still at large. Law enforcement also arrested eight other individuals on outstanding state warrants or related narcotics charges.
In addition to Tuesday’s arrests, law enforcement executed 12 federal search warrants in the Kenosha and Racine areas targeting members of this organization. Four state search warrants were also obtained and executed.
Law enforcement recovered approximately 800 grams of crack cocaine, 676 grams of heroin, 227 marijuana plants, 120 pounds of marijuana, and 3.5 grams of hash oil. In addition, there were a total of 25 firearms seized, a CS grenade, and a police scanner.
“Following a targeted, focused, and resource-intensive investigation of a violent street gang operating in the Kenosha and Racine areas, most of its many members are now apprehended and brought to justice—ending an extensive criminal operation that compromised the safety and the well-being of our community. The charges in the indictments against them describe a conspiracy to possess and distribute significant amounts of heroin, cocaine powder, and crack cocaine—along with their illegal possession of firearms that underscores the destructive nature of their criminal conduct. Through a highly integrated and thoroughly collaborative law enforcement effort, these investigators and agents have made our streets and neighborhoods more secure, and the prosecutions—undertaken by my office in partnership with that of the Kenosha County District Attorney will accomplish the end of this long-time criminal enterprise," United States Attorney James Santelle said.
“I have been around law enforcement and prosecution for the past 40 years and I can honestly say that this operation was one of the most successful (in terms of arrests) and best coordinated federal, state and local drug investigations and takedowns that I can remember," Kenosha County District Attorney Robert Zapf said.
“‘This organization, nicknamed ‘The Firm,’ has been entrenched in the Kenosha area for years dealing heroin and other drugs; however, that reign ended Tuesday with charges against more than 40 drug traffickers, thanks to the outstanding and remarkable cooperation among the DEA and its Wisconsin law enforcement partners,” said Dennis A. Wichern, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago Field Division, which includes Wisconsin.
Wichern also praised the dedication and teamwork of the agents, officers and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to dismantle this drug trafficking organization.
“I know that sometimes citizens get frustrated and think that we are not working drug investigations to the level they need to be. However, they are a priority for our department and our city. This type of operation takes a lot of work and cooperation between many agencies. We understand that at all levels of law enforcement we are dealing with the same issues, same problems and same people. We appreciate the assistance from all the state and federal partners. This operation is a worthy example of everyone working together and combining our resources to deal with these issues," Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey said.
“The multiple arrests in Kenosha are another prime example of the importance of our local and federal law enforcement partnerships. I commend the efforts of our Southeast Wisconsin Regional Gang Task Force, they have been very effective in getting violent offenders off the streets and into custody," Robert J. Shields Jr., special agent in charge, FBI Milwaukee said.
Kenosha Sheriff David Beth stated that he is “proud that the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Operations Group (KDOG) partnered with the other law enforcement agencies in the successful and safe apprehension of more than 40 drug traffickers. The citizens of Kenosha County have a safer community thanks to the excellent work of all these fine law enforcement officers. The Kenosha Sheriff’s Department stands ready to combat illegal drug activity with all of our resources.”
"Will we have to do this again? Yes we will. Do we look forward to doing it again? If they`re gonna keep coming, we`re gonna keep going," Sheriff Beth said.
The investigating agencies included the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, Oak Creek Police Department, Racine Police Department, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office. The United States Marshal Service and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, also assisted with the arrests and search warrants.