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Milwaukee HIDTA

General Information:
  Year of Designation:  1998
  Geographic Area of Responsibility:
    Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha Counties Wisconsin

(414) 220-4740

Mission Statement:

In support of the National Drug Control Strategy, Goal 2, Objective2—[to] “improve the ability of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area's (HIDTA's) to counter drug trafficking” the mission of the Milwaukee HIDTA is to apply enhanced intelligence processes, a high level of enforcement coordination, and prosecution to substantially and measurably reduce organized drug distribution, drug related violent crime, and money laundering, and to reduce the demand for illegal drugs within the Milwaukee HIDTA. The Milwaukee HIDTA is also committed to stem the distribution of illegal drugs through the Milwaukee HIDTA to communities and rural areas throughout Wisconsin and beyond. These initiatives are complimented by a coordinated effort to include demand reduction initiatives, which are youth focused and designed to improve the quality of life and restore neighborhood control to the citizens of the Milwaukee HIDTA.

Threat Abstract:

The Milwaukee HIDTA Region encompasses the four counties of Southeastern Wisconsin to include Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha in addition to Milwaukee. The two interstate corridors of I-94 and I-43 constitute the primary route for drugs to move into and out of the region.

Illegal drugs remain readily available and abused throughout the Milwaukee HIDTA Region. Powdered cocaine and crack are significant drug threats in the Milwaukee HIDTA Region, particularly in the City of Milwaukee. HIDTA initiatives report that cocaine and crack remain a significant drug threat in the region (first in Milwaukee and second to marijuana in the three remaining counties of Kenosha, Racine and Waukesha).

Mexican, Dominican and Nigerian drug trafficking organizations are the primary transporters of drugs from foreign countries and cities in the United States. Chicago is the primary source of drugs abused in the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Crack is the drug most often linked to violent crime in the city of Milwaukee, while marijuana is frequently linked to violence in other areas of the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Law enforcement agencies are seizing increasing amounts of cocaine. Cocaine is related to more deaths than any other drug and nearly half of those individuals admitted for substance abuse treatment are cocaine abusers. Mexican drug trafficking organizations are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors, while street gangs and criminal groups are the primary retail distributors of powdered cocaine and crack. Powdered cocaine and crack prices have remained stable during the last year indicating that the drug is readily available.

Heroin prices have decreased while purity has increased indicating ready availability in the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian heroin are most common in the northern portion of the Milwaukee HIDTA region, while South American heroin is most common on the city's south side. Nigerian drug trafficking organizations are the primary sources of Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian heroin originating from Chicago, Illinois. Dominican drug trafficking organizations are the dominant wholesale distributors of South American heroin. The South American heroin is coming from New York, New York. Most retail distribution of heroin is conducted by criminal groups, street gangs and independent dealers.

More marijuana is seized than all other drugs combined. It is the most widely available and most commonly abused drug in the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Most marijuana available in the HIDTA region is produced in Mexico and transported by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Mexican drug trafficking organizations are also the principal wholesale distributors of marijuana, while criminal groups, street gangs and local independent distributors sell marijuana at the retail level. Anecdotal evidence suggests that BC Bud, a type of marijuana with increased potency, is available in limited quantities in the northern areas of the Milwaukee HIDTA Region. MDMA and other club drugs are popular in the Milwaukee HIDTA region, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Independent dealers transport MDMA into the area, primarily from Chicago. On occasion, limited quantities of the drug are brought from Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Other dangerous drugs (ODD), like LSD and including diverted pharmaceuticals, such as: Oxycontin, Vicadin and Percocet are abused by a small number of individuals in the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Pharmaceuticals are generally diverted for abuse within the region.

There are several drug trafficking organizations operating within the Milwaukee HIDTA region. Mexican drug trafficking organizations with connections to Mexico, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Southwest Border states supply most of the cocaine and marijuana in Southeast Wisconsin. Dominican criminal groups transport most of the South American heroin available in the region, while Nigerian DTOs are the primary distributors of Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian heroin in the Milwaukee HIDTA region. African American street gangs are the dominant poly-drug retail distributors in the northern portion of the Milwaukee HIDTA region, while Hispanic gangs are the primary poly- drug retail distributors in the southern portion of the region.

Law Enforcement Agencies located in the Milwaukee HIDTA region have reported the following crime and arrest statistics:

There were 120 homicides, 501 forcible rapes, 3,871 robberies, and 2,812 assaults. For a violent crime total of 7,304 which amount to 60.2 percent for all violent crime for the state of Wisconsin. i

Forty-three percent of total property crimes in the State of Wisconsin occurred in the HIDTA region. ii

Strategy Abstract:

The Milwaukee HIDTA's initiatives focus on disrupting and dismantling local, regional, and national-level drug and money laundering organizations. The emphasis is on violent drug trafficking gangs that are regional DTO's or have connections with regional, national and/or international DTO's.

The Milwaukee HIDTA will coordinate eleven initiatives in Fiscal Year 2005. There are four investigative initiatives. There is one anti-drug/anti-crime initiative, one interdiction initiative, one prosecutorial initiative, one training initiative, one management and coordination initiative, and one information technology initiative and an investigative support center.

Investigative Support Center:

The HIDTA Intelligence and Technical Support Center, (HITS Center) is a collocated effort of federal, state, and local agencies. This task force is managed by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. The HITS Center has a primary function of gathering, analyzing and disseminating strategic intelligence regarding drug traffickers and gang organizations. The HITS Center also identifies drug trafficking organizations, assists in the development of threat assessments and priority setting; and assists in the coordination of cases and investigations by way of a pointer index system and deconfliction.

All HIDTA initiatives share information and are collocated having access to secure internal electronic communication. Remote users can securely connect to the Milwaukee HIDTA network through a virtual private network (VPN). Currently the HITS Center has achieved 23 out of 26 intelligence and information sharing developmental standards as set forth by ONDCP. The HITS Center provides the following: Post Seizure Analysis, Telephone Tolls Analysis, Link Analysis, Intelligence Profiles, Charts/Graphs, Trend and Pattern Analysis, and Analytical Case Support. Currently the analysts have access to the following databases and research software tools: Transaction Information for Management (TIME); case management (contains all HIDTA cases); Pen-Link (phone record information); World Wide Information; (Locate Plus) drivers licenses and motor vehicle registration checks; AutoTrack; Lexuz-Nexus; public source database; I-2 Analyst Notebook- charting; RissNet/MOCIC national database for suspect pointer index; Wisconsin utilities- information associated with property owners; Internet-used for general and public searches; and Milwaukee County Sheriff Crimes (on-line booking information).

The Milwaukee HIDTA offers regionally, a secure internet based deconfliction system called SAFETNeT (Secure Automated Fast Event Tracking Network) via the Chicago HIDTA. Currently accessible through the Watch Center in the Intelligence Center. The system is utilized by other HIDTA's successfully and presents opportunities for deconfliction throughout the Great Lakes Region (Chicago HIDTA, Lake County HIDTA and Michigan HIDTA).

A complete state-of-the-art Title III Operation Room is functional and is using a Lincoln Server System in conjunction with Penlink 8 Interceptor software. This operation is based upon a coalition between the Milwaukee HIDTA and the State of Wisconsin, Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (where the server is located), whereby the costs for operation are equally shared to benefit the entire state.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Attorney's Office – Eastern District of Wisconsin, Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Marshal's Service

State/Local: Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Wisconsin National Guard, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Milwaukee Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, Racine County Sheriff's Office and the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.

Significant Achievements:

The achievement of true collocated environment that includes prevention, enforcement, and prosecution initiatives is a major milestone, increasing the information flow between task forces and other law enforcement agencies.

In the first nine months of 2004 the Milwaukee HIDTA Drug Gang Task Force investigated and successfully dismantled a large scale violent drug trafficking organization in the Milwaukee HIDTA region.

The organization was responsible for a large number of violent crimes dating back to
1994. There were two identified leaders of the organization. Through various acts of intimidation members of this gang were able to successfully avoid prosecution. Based upon co-operating defendant's testimony, it was established that the gang purchased and sold forty (40) to sixty (60) kilograms of cocaine, broken down to street level quantities per month. This included a one- time shipment of 100 kilograms.

Using this information, the Drug Gang Task Force was able to make successful purchases of cocaine from members of the conspiracy group. The investigation progressed and a Federal Authorized Title III Wiretap was obtained. The case against the organization was bolstered by taped telephone conversations which corroborated the information provided by the informants and provided new information. After monitoring the telephone conversations, a conversation between one of the leaders and a member of the conspiracy was intercepted whereby detailed plans were formulated for the murder of one of the identified leaders. This resulted in the “wire” being shut down prematurely.

A total of twenty-seven (27) search warrants were secured and executed in the Milwaukee, WI and the Chicago, IL areas. Over ninety (90) law enforcement officers participated. There were twenty-one (21) persons arrested and federally indicted in this case and 6.829 kilograms of cocaine were recovered.

As a result of this investigation, twenty- three (23) individuals were indicted on Federal Conspiracy charges and the following assets were seized: $ 1,178,818 in US currency, $22,000 in stocks and bonds, jewelry valued at $600,000, one residence valued at over $300,000, four guns, and eleven vehicles with an approximate value of $125,000.

This investigation was a cooperative effort between all of the Milwaukee HIDTA participating agencies, USAO – N IL, DEA – Chicago, and Internal Revenue Service – CID. On the roundup day, the police departments in Romeoville, Illinois, and Oak Forest, Illinois also assisted in the execution of search warrants in their respective cities.

As a result of this investigation the organization has been completely dismantled. Information supplied by co- operating defendants on four separate homicides committed by members of the organization have been cleared.


i State of Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance
ii State of Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005