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Source: US State of Wisconsin

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today federal charges against 24 defendants associated with a violent drug trafficking organization in Milwaukee known as the Buffum Meinecke Boys.

The defendants charged in this law enforcement action all reside in Milwaukee and are:

Name

Age

Ramone LOCKE

33

Jesus PUENTES

33

Michael SMITH

37

Victor GONZALEZ

34

Garrell HUGHES

33

Lamar JOHNSON

32

Rico SMITH    

29

Michael WILSON

34

Amir LOCKE

34

Joey VAZQUEZ         

34

Coury AGEE

33

Louis BATES

31

Tyrone BRYANT

28

Dennis KING

35

Derrell TAYLOR   

31

Luis LORENZO          

34

Nicholas WELDON

29

Deon BUTTS        

38

Maureno BRIGGS

29

Dawan TURNER    

18

Jasmaine LINTON

38

Alfonso GREER

20

Juiquin PINKARD

35

Charles MCCOLLUM

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging fifteen of the defendants with conspiring to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin, at least five kilograms or more of powder cocaine, at least 280 grams or more of “crack” cocaine, and greater than 50 kilograms of marijuana.  If convicted of this conspiracy charge, those 15 defendants face a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison.  One of the co-conspirators, Victor Gonzalez, was also charged with unlawful possession of 37 firearms.  Nine other defendants were charged with distribution of heroin or cocaine or illegally possessing firearms.       

On February 25, 2020, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 17 of these defendants in a coordinated enforcement operation.  Throughout the course of the investigation, officers recovered over 900 grams of heroin, over 150 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 20 kilograms of marijuana, almost $300,000 in U.S. currency, and 53 firearms. 

“Every Milwaukee resident deserves to live in a secure neighborhood, free from groups who wield guns and pedal dangerous drugs,” said United States Attorney Krueger.  “This joint law enforcement action is another example of our unwavering commitment to fight gun violence and drug trafficking.  I commend the excellent law enforcement cooperation, led by the FBI, to build this case.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Hughes stated “The FBI, with its partners, stand committed to reducing the negative impact of gangs responsible for gun violence, illegal drugs and homicides.  Working together, we are dedicated to making Milwaukee a safe place to live, work, and enjoy all our city has to offer.”

“The Milwaukee law enforcement agencies continue to show our resolve by working together to investigate and prosecute violent drug organizations like the Buffum Meinecke Boys.  The residents of Milwaukee deserve to live in neighborhoods free of drug related violence, and this investigation is another step to provide that freedom,” said DEA Milwaukee District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul E. Maxwell, Jr.

The defendants were charged based on joint investigation by law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Southeastern Wisconsin Gang Task Force, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, the IRS-Criminal Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Laura S. Kwaterski and Kevin C. Knight.

Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the arrests and execution of search warrants yesterday, including Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI’s Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Gang Task Force, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Racine Police Department, Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Pleasant Police Department, FBI’s Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Wausau Police Department, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, FBI’s South Central Wisconsin Regional Gang Task Force, Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, FBI Chicago Field Office, FBI Minneapolis Field Office, FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group – HRT

Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, United States Marshal’s Service, St. Francis Police Department, Cudahy Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Homeland Security, North Central HIDTA

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods’ strategy brings together all levels of law enforcement and community resources to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in all our neighborhoods.

The public is cautioned that an indictment or criminal complaint is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

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