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Justice News

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Three Hayward Residents Plead Guilty To Drug Charges

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced today that three Hayward, Wis., residents recently pleaded guilty to federal drug charges involving the importation of a synthetic cathinone, Alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (Alpha-PVP), from China into the United States.  Drugs of this type are often referred to as “bath salts.” 

Michael R. Moreno, 39, and Paul R. Heidbreder, 57, were charged on February 18, 2015, in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison, with conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute, and distribution.  Moreno pleaded guilty on June 12 and will be sentenced on August 17.  Heidbreder pleaded guilty on June 19 and will be sentenced on September 4.  They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

In a related case, Rhonda Jacquinot, 52, agreed to waive her right to indictment by a grand jury and pleaded guilty on April 23 to her role in this conspiracy.  She admitted that in July 2014, she possessed Alpha PVP with intent to distribute.  She will be sentenced on July 20.  She also faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. 

At the plea hearings, the government established that Moreno developed a source for Alpha-PVP in China and placed orders with the source.  Heidbreder and Jacquinot provided money to Moreno to pay for shipments from China.  Moreno wired money to China, paying $900 for each 500-gram shipment, and the drugs were shipped to Moreno’s address in Hayward, and to addresses in Oconomowoc, Wis., and Dubuque, Iowa.  Moreno, Heidbreder, and Jacquinot divided the Alpha-PVP after it was received and distributed it to customers in northwestern Wisconsin for $100 per gram.

The charges against these three individuals are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; Hayward Police Department; Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department; and Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office.  The prosecution of these individuals is being handled by United States Attorney Vaudreuil.

Updated July 14, 2015