Owner of three North Shore McDonald's restaurants allegedly tied to drug money laundering
Suspects also accused of using U.S. Postal Service to move marijuana
Edward Patterson of Whitefish Bay allegedly used his three North Shore McDonald's restaurants as part of a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme, according to charges filed in federal court Oct. 16.
Patterson, 38, and Kevin Breitzman, 29, of Glendale, were among six people who allegedly obtained "large quantities of marijuana from northern California for distribution within the Milwaukee area," according to a Drug Enforcement Administration news release.
Patterson and Breitzman are both charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and use of the mail to facilitate possession with intent to deliver.
According to the DEA, the group shipped marijuana via the U.S. Postal Service to a number of Milwaukee addresses. Patterson is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession with intent to deliver.
Also indicted were Paul Heiniger, 42, of Willits, Calif., for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and use of the mail to facilitate possession with intent to deliver; Paul Markiewicz, 27, of Germantown, for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; Andrea Marquardt, 28, of New Berlin, for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and use of the mail to facilitate possession with intent to deliver; and John Webler, 39, of Milwaukee, for use of the mail to facilitate possession with intent to deliver.
Several of them used Patterson's McDonald's restaurants, located in Glendale, Fox Point and Mequon, to then launder money from the drug trade, according to the indictment.
All but one of the suspects were arrested Oct. 16, after which a total of 15 search warrants turned up several pounds of marijuana, 11 firearms and about $90,000 in cash.
If convicted, the five defendants face a maximum of 40 years in prison and a mandatory minimum jail time of five years.
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