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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Fond du Lac Man Sentenced to 225 Months’ Imprisonment for Firearm and Drug Offenses

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on September 26, 2019, Joshua J. Klein (age: 38) of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 225 months’ imprisonment for firearm and drug offenses. Klein was also ordered to serve 5 years’ supervised release after his prison sentence.

The investigation revealed that on August 27, 2018, Klein possessed with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana in and from his Fond du Lac residence. At the same time, Klein—who already had multiple prior felony convictions, including unlawful firearm possession and drug trafficking—was again unlawfully possessing two pistols in connection with drug dealing. Klein obtained the pistols from a co-conspirator who illegally bought them by falsely claiming to federally licensed firearms dealers that she was the actual buyer. In fact, the co-conspirator was acting as a straw purchaser for Klein and she subsequently delivered the pistols to him. The firearms have since been seized by law enforcement. The co-conspirator, Kerry L. Birkholz (age: 46), also pled guilty to drug and weapons charges and is awaiting sentencing.

“Too many in our communities suffer from opioid addiction and fear of gun violence,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “Klein was exploiting individuals’ addictions for his own personal gain and was using firearms to do it. His prior convictions and sentences did not stop him from returning to drug dealing, and so now he faces years in federal prison. This case demonstrates exceptional collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement to prosecute the small number of individuals in our communities who cause the most serious problems.” 

“The ATF Milwaukee Field Office takes these investigations seriously and will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to bring such defendants to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the ATF Chicago Field Division. “This sentence sends a strong message that felons in possession of a firearm while dealing drugs will not be tolerated in the Fond du Lac community.”

“We are proud of the collaboration between the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office on serious gun cases and greatly appreciate their successful prosecution in this matter.” – FDL DA Eric J. Toney

The investigation and prosecution resulted from the combined efforts of the Lake Winnebago Area Metro Drug Unit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Fond du Lac Police Department, the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Updated October 2, 2019