20 people facing charges in massive western Wisconsin meth bust - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

20 people facing charges in massive western Wisconsin meth bust

Eau Claire (WQOW) - One case, 20 people arrested. Investigators believe they've broken up a major meth ring in the Eau Claire area.

The west central drug task force says this woman, Pa Xiong, was the ringleader. She's been indicted by a federal grand jury.

It took time; this was a year-long investigation and as a result, 20 people now face charges.

"This has severely diminished the availability of methamphetamine in our area," said Chief Deputy Matt Rokus of the Eau Claire Police Department.

Authorities call it the largest meth bust they've ever made, but it started off slowly.

"We would do one interview here, on one date, and then two months later we would do an interview over here. And then we would determine that there was a link," added Rokus.

It also started on a small scale, officers first catching a low-level offender.

"From that low-level drug transaction, we were able to leverage information which brought us into an intermediary drug dealer. From there, we were able to progress into the upper end of the conspiracy," Rokus said.

Authorities say the primary provider of meth to the Chippewa Valley was a woman named pa Xiong. They claim she brought twenty pounds of meth into the Chippewa Valley during the year long investigation. That amount comes with a street value in the tens of thousands of dollars.

"Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, very dangerous drug. It destroys people's lives. It leads to other criminal activity, sometimes violent crimes," said Rokus.

Xiong has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Two others, Lang Thao and Kyrie Tetzlaff, were also indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged role. In total, 20 people face charges.

"The people charged in this investigation are a very small segment of our community. Unfortunately because of their addiction to methamphetamine, they commit a very high proportion of the amount of crime and disorder that's been impacting our region. Things like child neglect, child mistreatment. Others its fraud, theft, burglary,” Rokus explained.

The West Central Drug Task Force says other arrests are expected. But for now, they're happy with what's been accomplished.

"It is very important. Drug trafficking and drug use are very serious matters. By holding these drug dealers accountable for their actions; we are making Eau Claire and our region a much safer place," said Rokus.

At this time all three suspects indicted by a federal grand jury are being held in the Dane County jail. The seventeen others will be prosecuted locally. In addition to Eau Claire and Chippewa County, suspects could face charges in Dunn, Polk, and St. Croix Counties.

Western Wisconsin (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 17 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.

17 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 17 people have been charged in Eau Claire County, Dunn County, Chippewa County, St. Croix County, and Polk County. Additional arrests are expected. Click here to read the charges filed against these individuals.

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, and the Fall Creek Police Department.

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.”

**Correction: The attached release lists the name “Shaun D. Dwyer” - the proper spelling is “Shawn D. Dwyer.”
Powered by Frankly