EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -
Police arrested 20 people in a year long investigation to catch meth amphetamine dealers.
Police say seventeen agencies collaborated to find and arrest the dealers, targeting the source of the drugs.
Nineteen dealers were all traced back to one woman, 32-year-old Pa Xiong who police said brought in more than 20 pounds of meth from the Twin Cities.
Linda Jarosch has owned a daycare on East Madison Street in Eau Claire for 35 years. She said it's been a peaceful neighborhood, and was surprised to hear Kyrie Tetzlaff, who had been living across the street for Jarosch, was dealing meth and sold to a police informant, according to court records.
"I didn't know nothing about it until today, and i'm glad they caught the woman, got them off the streets. The person's in jail where they belong and i hope she does get prison," Jarosch said.
"Pa Xiong was responsible for bringing more than 20 pounds of meth into our region. Pa Xiong then distributed this meth to Kyrie Tetzlaff and Lang Thao. They then further distributed it to the 17 other individuals who are charged locally," Eau Claire Police Deputy Chief Matt Rokus said.
Thursday, Eau Claire Police announced that an investigation led to the arrests of 20 suspects involved with dealing meth.
Pauline Hayes, whose daughter lives on the same block where one of the dealers stayed, said it's a problem that needs attention.
"Even though they busted up this ring, i'm sure there's a lot of people that have been effected, and it doesn't stop the need or habit that people are still gonna need that and that's the sad thing," Hayes said.
"The 20 suspects involved in this case have been involved in a lot of drug trafficking and countless other crimes in our community. And the effects of these crimes have had a devastating impact on our community members."
"I'm glad they caught all 20, I hope they catch more who do this. Get it all off the streets, we don't need drugs on the streets," Jarosch said.
Eau Claire Police said they expect more arrests and said Xiong was indicted on four new charges Thursday, Tetzlaff and Thao have already pleaded guilty.
For a complete list of suspects and the 60 charges against them, see the release below.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) --
Members of the West Central Drug Task Force (WCDTF) conducted a year-long investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in our region. The investigation identified a group of individuals who were involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Chippewa Valley. As a result of this investigation three people were indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States Western District Court of Wisconsin in Madison and seventeen additional people have been charged locally for their role in the distribution of methamphetamine in our region.
This WCDTF investigation identified PA HOUA XIONG as a primary provider of methamphetamine in the Chippewa Valley. The investigation determined Xiong was responsible for transporting large amounts of methamphetamine from the St. Paul/Minneapolis area into Eau Claire. The methamphetamine was then distributed in Eau Claire and surrounding communities. Xiong was arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver and was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 14, 2014, in the United States Western District Court of Wisconsin in Madison.
The investigation also determined LANG THAO and KYRIE L. TETZLAFF were involved in the distribution of large amounts methamphetamine in cooperation with PA HOUA XIONG and several other individuals. Subsequently, THAO and TETZLAFF were indicted by a federal grand jury on January 8, 2014, in the United States Western District Court of Wisconsin in Madison.
Seventeen additional people have been arrested and charged with methamphetamine related offenses to date. These seventeen people worked in concert with Xiong, Thao, and Tetzlaff to distribute methamphetamine. These seventeen people have been charged in Eau Claire County, Dunn County, Chippewa County, St. Croix County, and Polk County. Additional arrests are expected. The investigation into this drug distribution conspiracy involved controlled purchases of methamphetamine, multiple search warrants, witness interviews, and other investigative methods. The WCDTF continues to work closely with area District Attorney’s Offices and the United States Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of these crimes.
The West Central Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from 17 area law enforcement agencies who proactively work together to combat drug abuse and drug-related crime in the region. Each WCDTF member agency made significant contributions to this successful investigation. The member agencies of the WCDTF are:
Altoona Police Department
WI DOJ - DCI
Menomonie Police Department
Bloomer Police Department
Dunn County Sheriff’s Office
Pepin County Sheriff’s Office
Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office
Durand Police Department
UW-Eau Claire Police Department
Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office
Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office
UW-Stout Police Department
Chippewa Falls Police Department
Eau Claire Police Department
WI State Patrol – NWR EC
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Fall Creek Police Department
A full listing of the charges related to this investigation is as follows:
Three Federal Indictments:
United States Attorney’s Office
Pa Houa Xiong
Two counts Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, two counts Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, and Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine
Four counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine and Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine.
Kyrie L. Tetzlaff
Two counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine
Seventeen Additional Arrests:
Local District Attorney’s Offices
Brian M. Begley
Possession Meth and Possession Drug Paraphernalia.
Aaron J. Blomberg
Delivery of Meth, Possession of Methamphetamine
Justine M. Casas
Three counts Possession Meth, two counts Possession Illegally Obtained Prescription, two counts Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession THC, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Possession of Meth and Possess Drug Paraphernalia.
Dunn / St. Croix
David K. Christner
Delivery of Meth, Possession w/Intent to Deliver Meth, Possession of Meth, three counts Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, two counts Possession THC, Possession of Narcotic Drug, Possession of THC, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.
Chippewa / Eau Claire
Scott W. Deraitus
Possession Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Shawn D. Dwyer
Delivery of Methamphetamine.
Michael F. Gappa
Possession of Methamphetamine.
Possession with Intent to Deliver Meth, two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle without Owner’s Consent (OMVWOC), and Obstructing an Officer.
Dunn / Eau Claire
Nathan A. Markham
Possession Meth, three counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of THC, and OMVWOC.
Chippewa / Dunn /
Jaicee K. Meier
Possession of Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Amber L. Montonya
Two counts Delivery of Meth, Possession with Intent to Deliver Meth, Possession of an Imitation Controlled Substance, and three counts Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Aaron D. Nowak
Possession of THC and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Pamela J. Paulsrud
Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place.
Danica J. Smith
Three counts Delivery of Meth and Possession of Meth.
Chippewa / Eau Claire
Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine.
Cory J. Vetterkind
Possession of Meth and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Staniszewski says, “Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that ruins lives and families. We have an obligation to seek out those who jeopardize the safety and quality of life we expect in Eau Claire. This is proof that we will relentlessly pursue drug traffickers in our community and hold them accountable.”
Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer says, “This case highlights the need for the long-term conspiracy type case to take as many dealers off the streets that are dealing methamphetamines our area. The addiction is still there with many of the people they supplied. Many of these subjects have been identified as being involved in a variety of different crimes like thefts, burglaries, and other types of criminal activity to feed their addiction.”