15 people charged in multi-state drug trafficking operation

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 3:11 PM CST
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAW) - A federal grand jury in Milwaukee charged fifteen people Tuesday with offenses related to a drug trafficking organization that obtained kilogram quantities of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana from California for distribution in the Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Chicago areas.

Phillip Daniels, Sr., 46, Roy Henton, nicknamed “Pops”, 46, Joelle Massey, 30, Kevin Nelson, 47, Dominique Lewis, 27, of Milwaukee, and Betty Daniels, 46, of Lomira are the individuals charged from Wisconsin.

Joathan Colula, 30, of Los Angeles, Julio Barraza, 48, of Chino Hills, Deonte Edwards, 27, of Van Nuys, Jimmy Gonzalez-Macias, 25, of Anaheim, Jameel Bradley, Sr., nicknamed “Chris” and “Black”, 37, of Forest Park, Michael Williams, 41, of Brooklyn Park, Ramona Fryer, 28, of Eagan, Carla Smith, 46, of North St. Paul, and Itzel Cruz-Gonzalez, 26, of Forest Park, are additional, out-of-state individuals who received charges.

Many of the individuals were also charged with money laundering conspiracy based upon their alleged use of business accounts to conceal drug proceeds. Multiple defendants were also charged with possessing firearms. A financial investigation revealed that members of the drug trafficking organization funneled over two million dollars in proceeds into bank accounts associated with various businesses.

According to a criminal complaint, Phillip Daniels Sr. obtained fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana from suppliers in California. He arranged to have the substances shipped to addresses in the Milwaukee and St. Paul/Minneapolis areas. The organization also is alleged to have obtained and sold counterfeit oxycodone pills, which contained fentanyl or methamphetamine.

Multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement officers executed search warrants in Milwaukee, Chicago, Minnesota, and California, resulting in the seizure of over 10 kilograms of fentanyl, approximately 7.5 kilograms of cocaine, more than one kilogram of methamphetamine, nearly two kilograms of heroin, ecstasy, oxycodone, approximately 170 pounds of marijuana, over $450,000 cash, and 19 firearms.

“The charges announced today are the direct result of the tireless work and collaboration of dozens of dedicated law enforcement professionals from federal, state, and local law enforcement in Wisconsin and across the country,” says U.S. Attorney Gregory Haarstad. “Ingesting just two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal for some users.”

If convicted, the individuals face a mandatory minimum of five years up to life in prison. Two of the defendants are also charged with possessing an automatic firearm in connection to drug trafficking. If convicted of those counts, face a mandatory minimum of 30 years up to life in prison.