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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Cocaine Conspiracy

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

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Darryl McDonald, 39, Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to ten years in prison for conspiring to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.  McDonald pleaded guilty to this charge on March 15, 2023. 

The government’s investigation revealed that McDonald, who resided in Chicago, began providing cocaine to various people for redistribution around the Madison, Wisconsin area.  One source of information (SOI) stated that she began transporting cocaine to the Madison area from Chicago for McDonald in 2016.  She made numerous trips where she transported cocaine for McDonald and received approximately $1,500 per trip.  The arrangement between the SOI and the defendant went on for several years until the SOI was arrested in May 2018 in Illinois with approximately a half-kilogram of cocaine. 

The SOI reported that she had picked up a kilogram of cocaine from McDonald in Chicago and delivered half of it to a customer in Illinois per McDonald’s instructions.  She was driving to Madison to distribute the second half when she was pulled over and arrested.  The SOI communicated with McDonald before and during this trip via text message and the messages corroborated that she was delivering the cocaine for McDonald.  Upon getting pulled over with the cocaine in her car, the SOI immediately texted McDonald for help and provided a pin with her location.

Between 2016 and 2021, financial records show that McDonald had very little verifiable income, though he made several large purchases and conducted most transactions using cash.  Financial records also show that McDonald deposited over $250,000 in cash into his checking account during the same timeframe.

A total of eight individuals have pleaded guilty to participating in this cocaine distribution scheme and have all now been sentenced by Judge Peterson. 

The charge against McDonald is the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Madison Police Department, and the Dane County Narcotics Task Force.  The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations.  The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.

Updated June 21, 2023

Drug Trafficking