16 charged in $9.6 million cocaine conspiracy in Fond du Lac area

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - Sixteen people have been charged for the distribution of nearly $10 million worth of cocaine in the Fond du Lac area.

The arrests were result of a joint operation between federal, state and local law enforcement.

During a news conference Thursday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the suspects in the case were responsible for dealing 127 pounds of cocaine worth $9.6 million.

Schimel called the effort a "huge interruption" in the drug trade in Wisconsin.

"When you take $9.6 million of profit away from them that is dangerous work," Schimel said.

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney says the conspiracy stretches from Fond du Lac to Milwaukee to Chicago.

"This is definitely a large scale conspiracy. These are, we don't talk often about over 100 pounds of drugs, that's an enormous amount," Schimel said. "These drugs don't weigh very much by nature. It takes a lot of them to get to a pound. This is pretty remarkable."

Charges have been filed against 16 people. Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb and DA Toney say more charges are likely in the case.

"Absolutely, we have some of those folks identified, law enforcement's working on it," Toney said."

Arrest warrants are out for two people charged in the case.. District Attorney Toney says suspects Dennis Armstrong of Fond du Lac and Kayley Kropp of North Fond du Lac have not been located.

The suspects are charged with felony conspiracy to deliver cocaine between July 2017 and April 2018.

Thirteen people are in custody. One person has posted bond.

Fifteen of the suspects have been identified as follows:

Kayley M. Kropp
Nichole A. Pauly
Lashonda D. Cruckson
Nicole T. Cassola
Lateef Strong
Michael Liebelt
Tony L. Potratz
Duane T. Biesterveld
Joseph S. Davis
Danny M. Andrews Jr.
Veronica B. Vannan
Dennis R. Armstrong
John L. Sobrilsky
Ulysses J. Brown
Jacob Fellers

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says this is one step in their mission to go after drug dealers in the area, but the fight is not over.

"It is our goal to absolutely cripple any drug, armed drug trafficking organization that is targeting this area," says Joel Lee, Assistant Special Agent in Charge.