The war on drugs is very much alive in Wisconsin, particularly at the national level. Federal prosecutors are serious about bringing the hammer down on drug suspects, no matter what the type of illegal drug or the demographic of the suspect. Drug enforcement agents are focused not just on street-level arrests, but every stage of drug manufacturing, trafficking, possession or use.
This means that some suspects who may not match the stereotypical image of a drug dealer have come under fire. One recent example is the case of a 47-year-old Milwaukee resident who works as a computer analyst for the city Health Department. The man has been indicted by a federal grand jury along with three other men, all of whom are charged with conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and distribution of a controlled substance.
According to the indictment against the man, the illegal drug activity took place over a seven-month period earlier this year, from February to September. Less clear is exactly what activity took place and how the city worker was involved. But federal and local drug agencies were involved in the investigation, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas of Milwaukee.
Federal drug charges tend to be more serious and come with higher penalties than lower-level charges -- if convicted, the defendants in this case could each be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Such a penalty would surely end the career of the city worker, who has worked for the Health Department since 2004.
Even if he isn't convicted, his professional reputation could be irreparably damaged and his employers may lose confidence in him. As a result, he and the other defendants will need to be aggressive in fighting the charges against them by finding a highly competent attorney with experience in federal cases. With the stakes so high, the computer analyst and the rest of the suspects must do everything they can to mount a successful defense.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Computer analyst at Milwaukee Health Department indicted on meth charges," John Diedrich, Sept. 28, 2012
· Our firm handles cases similar to the one described in this post. To learn more about our practice, visit our Milwaukee drug crimes page.