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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Oxycodone Distributor Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that on March 1, 2019, Lance Bruette, (age 36) of Minocqua was sentenced in federal court to 48 months in prison for conspiring to distribute oxycodone.  Bruette had previously pleaded guilty to this charge.    

The investigation revealed that from 2013 through 2016, Bruette and his co-conspirators traveled from Oneida and Vilas Counties to Milwaukee to pick up at least 289,140 mg tablets of oxycodone and then sell them in northern Wisconsin.  The investigation showed that Bruette was a leader in this conspiracy and directed co-conspirators when to pick up oxycodone and how much oxycodone to pick up.  He also recruited accomplices to sell in particular geographic areas.       

While sentencing Bruette, United States District Court Judge Lynn Adelman emphasized that the offense was particularly serious because the opioid epidemic has had such a dramatic impact in small, rural communities in Wisconsin, such as those in Oneida County and Vilas County.  Bruette was the seventh and final defendant to be sentenced for conspiring to distribute oxycodone in this case.  See United States v. Orvin Kay, Case No. 17-CR-16.

“The defendant’s greed led him to exploit countless individuals’ addictions to opioids,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger.  “This case shows that trafficking in pills is no less serious than trafficking in illicit opioids like heroin.  We commend the outstanding collaboration by federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to shut down this illegal flow of opioids.”

The following agencies participated in the investigation: the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office; the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office; the Wisconsin Department of Justice—Division of Criminal Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration – Milwaukee (Tactical Diversion Squad); the Minocqua Police Department; the Rhinelander Police Department; and the Northcentral Drug Enforcement Group (“NORDEG”).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary J. Corey. 

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Updated March 5, 2019