Federal officials announced Thursday, April 16, that 27 people have been indicted for operating a drug conspiracy, including the alleged kingpin of the operation, Pewaukee resident Kevin R. Arms.
The 27 defendants face charges that include homicide, money laundering and firearms offenses, as well as conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana. The U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle said in a news release that law enforcement officials executed eight search warrants on Thursday and recovered 31 firearms and approximately $143,000.
Arms, 40, and two other men could face the death penalty for allegedly causing the death of a person identified in the recently unsealed indictment as “P.J.” in November 2008. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that only one person - Paula Jackson - was slain in Milwaukee on the date in question. The 43-year-old woman was shot to death in the 4200 block of W. Burleigh Street on Nov. 16, 2008.
According to the news release, 21 defendants, including Arms, are in custody while six people remain at large.
Village of Pewaukee Police Captain Jay Iding said his department was not involved in the investigation and, as far as he was aware, his officers have not had any contact with Arms.
According to court records, Arms has never been charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with any criminal offenses.
The indictment states that the government seized a 21-foot fishing boat, two Harley Davidson motorcycles, nine vehicles, various men’s jewelry, 11 real estate properties in Milwaukee, and bank accounts belonging to True Boss Entertainment Inc. and Arms Investments LLC.
According to state records, Kevin R. Arms is the registered agent for Arms Investments LLC.
Federal officials also seized a $3 million money judgment.
The charges were brought against the defendants after a multi-year investigation by officers from the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The departments were assisted in the investigation by the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Heroin Task Force.
Agencies that assisted in the arrests include the U.S. Marshals Service, Waukesha Metro Drug Unit, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department.
The drug conspiracy and firearms offenses are all punishable by up to life in prison.