Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two Sentenced For Distributing Oxycodone In La Crosse Area

Madison, Wis. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Ed Riel, 46, Onalaska, Wis., and Jan Dettmann, 56, La Crosse, Wis., were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lynn S. Adelman to 48 months and 14 months in federal prison respectively, for conspiracy to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Riel and Dettmann pleaded guilty to this charge on November 13, 2013.  

The advisory sentencing guideline range for Riel’s criminal conduct was 210 to 240 months in prison, and the advisory range for Dettmann’s criminal conduct was 70 to 87 months in prison.  In arriving at the sentences in this case, Judge Adelman reasoned that Dettmann committed the offense to feed her drug addiction, was manipulated by Riel, and that she had not previously been sentenced to jail.  Judge Adelman noted that Riel appears to have a manipulative personality, committed the offense to feed his drug addiction, and preyed on vulnerable people because of his drug addiction.

The conspiracy began in the summer of 2008 and ended in 2011.  The object of the conspiracy was to purchase oxycodone pills from Atlanta and Miami, and sell the pills in the La Crosse area.  The oxycodone pills were paid for by MoneyGram wire transfers and shipped to the La Crosse area via Federal Express.  Riel was the organizer or leader of the oxycodone ring and Dettmann wired money via MoneyGram and allowed Federal Express packages to be shipped to a property she owned. 

In total, investigators determined that approximately $354,208.71 was wired via MoneyGram for oxycodone pills.  After payment was made for the pills, they were sent to various individuals via Federal Express in stuffed animals (mostly “beanie babies”).  The investigation revealed that a total of approximately 39,556 pills were purchased during the course of the conspiracy.  Erica Litsheim was also part of the conspiracy, pleaded guilty, and was previously sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.

The investigation was the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department; West Central Metropolitan Enforcement Group; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Munish Sharda. 

Updated July 14, 2015