Sheriff: Area meth bust could be largest in state history

GREEN BAY/GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE:

WBAY

Suitcases full of drugs. Pounds of meth found in a hotel room. Rugers and Glocks. That's what drug task force officers say they found while investigating a major drug operation in Northeast Wisconsin.

As a result of that investigation, a federal grand jury has returned an six-count indictment charging nine defendants with conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

"This is going to be the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Northeast Wisconsin history. And I believe this could be one of the largest seizures of methamphetamine in the state of Wisconsin history. It's a large amount of methamphetamine. Something that we've never seen up here in this type of quantity," says Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain.

"When you're talking this large, this ties back to cartels," the sheriff continues.

Some of the defendants also face federal gun charges.

DEFENDANTS AND CHARGES

Derek A. Liebergen, 26 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime

Malachai J. Root, 29 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime

Wayne L. Stilen, 39 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime

Sally A. Miller, 35 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

Jeremy M. Ludwig, 32 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

Kayla R. Kennedy, 39 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

Jasmine L. Gillette, 24 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

Christopher S. Ullmer, 22 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

Peter F. Thao, 23 - Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

COMPLAINTS

Drug investigators executed multiple search warrants in September 2019. One of the warrants was executed at a Grand Chute hotel where defendant Derek A. Liebergen was alleged to be selling drugs.

On Sept. 9, investigators met with a confidential source who had purchased "large quantities of methamphetamine" from Liebergen. The complaint states the source had made multiple purchases from Liebergen in the past.

"Once we identified that source with that amount of methamphetamine that was supposed to hit the streets, they worked together to take action and apprehend that individual so that it didn't get to the streets," says Sheriff Delain.

The source told police that Liebergen would travel from out of state to the Appleton area with a large amount of meth. He would rent out a hotel room and "sell multiple pounds of methamphetamine" from the room.

"This quantity was directed all over Northeast Wisconsin," says Sheriff Delain.

Officers seized the following during the hotel bust:

--58 pound of meth
--1 kilogram of tramadol (prescription narcotic for pain)
--57 grams of cocaine
--32 marijuana vaping cartridges
--Marijuana edibles
--$39,215 in U.S. currency

Liebergen had a handgun in the waistband of his pants when he was arrested.

Liebergen agreed to an interview after his arrest. He admitted to traveling from Missouri to Wisconsin with meth. He stated his intent was to sell the meth to pay off a drug debt to his supplier, according to the complaint.

Federal investigators believe the 58 pounds of meth seized from Liebergen's hotel room is worth $500,000 - $750,000 on the street.

On Sept. 9, the Brown County Drug Task Force arrested defendant Malachi Root in Green Bay. He was found with suitcases and bags full of drugs and a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun, according to federal prosecutors.

Officers seized the following:

--930 grams of hash oil
--463 grams of marijuana
--68 grams of MDMA
--23 grams of meth
--8 grams of cocaine
--Marijuana cookies and gummies
--A money counter
--$25,728 in U.S. Currency

Action 2 News is working to obtain all of the complaints and affidavits.

At this point, only the Liebergen and Ullmer affidavits have been filed on federal court records.

The affidavit for Ullmer's arrest states that on Oct. 1, police officers pulled Ullmer over in Green Bay. They searched the vehicle and found a Glock 9 mm handgun under the driver's seat, according to the affidavit.

A further search of the vehicle turned up the following:

--28 grams of marijuana
--41 "Dank Vapes" marijuana cartridges
--13.9 grams of marijuana (found in safe)
--27 grams of meth
--.37 grams of fentanyl
--12 grams of cocaine
--1.6 grams of heroin
--6 grams of MDMA
--Various pills
--$2,410 in U.S. Currency

A search warrant was executed at Ullmer's home in Oconto Falls. That turned up the following:

--69 grams of meth
--3.5 grams of cocaine
--23 grams of MDMA
--Alprazolam pills (panic/anxiety medication)
--Marijuana
--.22 caliber handgun
--9 mm magazine for a handgun
--Drug ledgers with names, dollar amounts and dates

On Oct. 3, Ullmer's girlfriend was arrested in Oconto Falls. A search of her vehicle turned up the following:

--87 grams of meth
--Loaded Smith & Wesson MP Shield 9mm handgun
--$1,800 in US Currency

The Lake Winnebago Area MEG Unit, Brown County Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation worked together on the case.

The case is being prosecuted in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

=================================
INITIAL REPORT

Federal charges have been filed against a man accused of selling large quantities of meth out of a hotel room in Grand Chute.

A federal criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News shows Derek A. Liebergen is accused of possession with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of "a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine."

He's also charged with possessing a gun in a drug trafficking crime.

On Sept. 9, investigators met with a confidential source who had purchased "large quantities of methamphetamine" from Liebergen. The complaint states the source had made multiple purchases from Liebergen in the past.

The source told police that Liebergen would travel from out of state to the Appleton area with a large amount of meth. He would rent out a hotel room and "sell multiple pounds of methamphetamine" from the room.

The source told officers that Liebergen was going to be in the area on Sept. 11 with a large amount of meth. Police caught up with Liebergen at a Grand Chute hotel. They searched his hotel room and found 60 pounds of meth and one kilogram of what investigators believed to be heroin/fentanyl, according to the complaint.

Liebergen agreed to an interview after his arrest. He admitted to traveling from Missouri to Wisconsin with meth. He stated his intent was to sell the meth to pay off a drug debt to his supplier, according to the complaint.

The Lake Winnebago Area MEG Unit, Brown County Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation worked together on the case.

The case is being prosecuted in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Read the original version of this article at www.wbay.com.