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Press Release

Green Bay Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Dealing Fentanyl Resulting in Death and Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on April 9, 2024, U.S. Senior District Judge William C. Griesbach sentenced a Green Bay man, Keenan J. Denruyter (age: 32), to 25 years in prison after he pled guilty to Distributing Fentanyl Resulting in Death, Possessing Fentanyl With Intent to Distribute, and Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition as a convicted felon, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 922.

Court records indicate that in June and July 2023, Denruyter repeatedly distributed counterfeit Percocet® “M30” pills containing fentanyl, resulting in the overdose deaths of two Green Bay females aged 17 and 18. Denruyter was on extended supervision at the time, having been released from state prison for felony cocaine delivery. As part of an ongoing investigation, the Brown County Drug Task Force (BCDTF) made controlled buys during which Denruyter sold fentanyl pills to an informant. BCDTF arrested Denruyter, finding hundreds of additional M30 pills and a loaded pistol. BCDTF’s investigation continued, leading to evidence connecting Denruyter to the two overdose deaths.

In sentencing Denruyter, Judge Griesbach emphasized that trafficking fentanyl is distributing “poison.” The judge considered nationwide data that 7 in 10 counterfeit pills tested at DEA Crime Labs contain a lethal dose of fentanyl, that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for 18- to 45-year-olds, and that synthetic opiates like fentanyl cause over 73,000 deaths annually in the U.S.—equal to 200 deaths per day.

“Fentanyl continues to cut a devastating swath through families and communities across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Haanstad. “Individuals who distribute this deadly poison choose to gamble with the lives of others simply to put a few extra dollars in their own pockets.  I commend the hard work of the Brown County Drug Task Force and all of our federal, state, local, and tribal partners who remain committed to working together to hold individuals like Mr. Denruyter accountable for their deadly and callous actions.”

“This long federal prison sentence sends a strong message that law enforcement will not tolerate firearm violence or drug trafficking in our community,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Christpher Amon of the Chicago Field Division.  “I commend the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the DEA and the Brown County Drug Task Force for their commitment in investigating and prosecuting this important case.”

Brown County Sheriff Todd J. Delain said, “The Brown County Drug Task Force is grateful for our ongoing partnership and collaboration with the United States Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to hold those who distribute dangerous drugs accountable for their actions.  The distribution of dangerous drugs, like fentanyl, has led to an overall decay of society and all too often death of people who are addicted or using these dangerous drugs.  We will continue to work hard for the people of Northeast Wisconsin by relentlessly pursuing and arresting those that present a serious threat to our community!” 

 According to the DEA, illicit fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat facing this country. It is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl—the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil—is considered a potentially deadly dose. The Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Cartel in Mexico, using chemicals largely sourced from China, are primarily responsible for most of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in communities across the United States.

This case was investigated by the Brown County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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For further information contact:

Public Information Officer

Kenneth.Gales@usdoj.gov

(414) 297-1700

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Updated April 10, 2024