By Brandi Makuski
Five individuals are behind bars on federal heroin and gun-related charges, all from Central Wisconsin.
All five had indictments returned against them by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, Aug. 26, and all five remain behind bars pending arraignments.
Tiffany A. Bell, 24, and Gregory D. Richardson, 25, both of Plover, have been charged with conspiring to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Both Bell and Richardson are also charged with maintaining a drug house on Patti Drive in Plover, distributing heroin and possession of firearms. All told, each faces 160 years behind bars if convicted of all charges.
Stevens Point resident Kristy M. Dietel, 34, has been charged with six counts of heroin distribution and faces 20 years in federal prison on each count.
Megan Pray-Genett, 20, of Belmont, is charged with five counts of heroin distribution and faces 20 years on each count.
Cody R. Thompson, 22 from New Hope, faces four charges of heroin distribution and faces 20 years on each count.
Federal prosecutor John W. Vaudreuil said he hopes the cases will bring the public’s attention to the “strong link” between prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction.
“Bitter experience and clinical research shows that heroin addiction often starts with the abuse of opiate prescription drugs,” he said. “Keeping unused prescription opiate drugs in the home is like leaving a loaded gun on the kitchen table.”
Vaudreuil also praised the efforts of the Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force, which coordinated with the Wisconsin DOJ and resulted in successfully charging the five suspects.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to address the spread of heroin and to ensure that felons do not possess firearms,” Vaudreuil said.
Local law enforcement holds Drug Take Back days throughout the year, and drop-off locations are open daily throughout the community. For more information on discarding old or unused prescription medicine, click here.
Bell was an inmate at the Portage Co. Jail on unrelated drug charges when she was caught on July 17 removing a baggie containing heroin from a body cavity while she was in the shower.
Additional information on Richardson, Dietel, Pray-Genett and Thompson was not immediately available. Check back for updates on the case.