Nine charged with drug trafficking, firearms possession in largest drug-raid in NE Wisconsin history

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Nine people have been charged in federal court in connection with a drug enforcement investigation in the Green Bay area.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Wisconsin, the investigation resulted in the seizure of about 58 pounds of methamphetamine in September.

One of those charged, 26-year-old Derek Liebergen of Kaukauna, was arrested during what authorities are saying may be the largest methamphetamine busts ever in northeastern Wisconsin.

Liebergen was arrested following the execution of a search warrant on a hotel in Outagamie County. Officials say 58 pounds of methamphetamine, one kilogram of tramadol, 57 grams of cocaine, 32 marijuana vaping cartridges, marijuana edibles, and $39,215 cash was seized.

He has been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

On September 9, the Brown County Drug Task Force arrested 29-year-old Malachi Root in Green Bay.

A loaded Ruger 9 mm handgun was found on the driver’s seat of Root’s car, according to the criminal complaint. Officials say they found a variety of drugs in bags and suitcases, including 930 grams hash oil, 463 grams of marijuana, 68 grams of MDMA, 23 grams of methamphetamine, 8 grams of cocaine, a money counter, marijuana edibles (cookies and gummies), and approximately $25,728.

Root was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

The Attorney’s Office says the following individuals have also been charged, but do not explain if and how they are connected to Liebergen and Root:

  • Wayne Stilen, 39, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime
  • Sally Miller, 35, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Jeremy Ludwig, 32, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Kayla Kennedy, 39, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Jasmine Gillette, 24, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Christopher Ullmer, 22, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Peter Thao, 23, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance

Officials say that if convicted of the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the defendants face a minimum term of ten years, up to life in prison. Convictions on the firearms counts would expose the defendants to additional terms of incarceration.

“It’s going to go down, certainly, as the largest seizure of methamphetamine in northeast Wisconsin to my knowledge,” said Sheriff Todd Delain of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. “And I don’t know of any other seizure in the state of Wisconsin larger than the one that we’ve seen here.”

Nine people are Federally indicted on drug charges, and one of them is a 26 year old from Kaukauna.
Police say Derek Liebergen had nearly 60 pounds of meth in his hotel room, as well as a kilogram of heroin with the intent to sell.

“You’re talking in the neighborhood of an easy 3/4 of a million dollars and if you grammed it out, you’d be well over a million dollars in methamphetamine alone,” said Delain.

Police say they were tipped off by an informant who told them Liebergen would travel from out of state to the Appleton area, and sell drugs from his hotel room.
And a sting this big was a team effort. It was the result of agencies stretching from Winnebago to Oconto County working together.

“Drug dealers don’t have any geographical boundaries,” he said. “They don’t care if they’re in Brown County or Outagamie County. They don’t care if they’re in Appleton or Green Bay or in Oconto. When it comes to law enforcement, we take the same approach to resolve it.”

Every suspect involved faces a minimum of 10 years in prison but could end up spending the rest of their lives behind bars.

“Methamphetamine is one of the largest problems that we face, so when we have a seizure like that it certainly helps everyone out,” said Delain.

Derek Liebergen’s arraignment is Friday at 12:30pm in Federal court.

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