Federal jury convicts inmate for retaliating against her for being a government witness
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a jury found a 23-year-old inmate guilty of retaliating against another inmate for being a government witness in a drug-trafficking trial. Following a four-day trial, the jury convicted Veronique Zsa zsa Antique Muckle, of Superior, Wisconsin, on one count of federal witness retaliation. Muckle was indicted on September 11, 2012.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Muckle assaulted Angelique Michelle Vos on August 14, 2012, following Vos’ return to the Sherburne County Jail after serving as a cooperating government witness during a narcotics trial. Muckle, Vos, and more than three dozen others pleaded guilty for their roles in a large-scale drug-trafficking organization that transported prescription pills and heroin from Detroit to the Twin Ports region in Minnesota. In September 2011, the organization was brought down after it was investigated by the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”). The investigation itself was commonly referred to as Operation Highlife.
In August 2012, Muckle’s business partner and confidante Lawrence Lalonde Colton chose to go to trial. At the time, Muckle and Vos were held separately in the Sherburne County Jail. Muckle was already sentenced to 52 months in prison for her participation in the original drug conspiracy, and was awaiting placement in the federal prison system. Along with several other co-conspirators, Vos testified on behalf of the federal government in Colton’s drug-trafficking trial on August 14, 2012. When Vos returned from federal court, Muckle ran from a segregated area of the facility and violently attacked Vos. Colton was convicted on August 16, 2012, and later sentenced to 300 months in prison. At trial, Muckle took the stand and claimed the assault was because of a separate dispute between herself and Vos.
For her crime, Muckle faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. United States District Court Judge David S. Doty will determine her sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Duluth Police Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allen A. Slaughter and Amber M. Brennan.
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