A Wisconsin woman is accused of running a major opioid ring from her home, dealing pills and heroin from her purse at her kitchen table.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Lori Merget, 57, of Campbellsport, was arrested Monday along with seven other people -- including her son -- on charges of conspiracy to sell heroin and other drugs. Some of her co-defendants were charged with possession with the intent to deliver the drugs that Merget is accused of selling.
A criminal complaint from Washington County authorities said Merget and Steven Duncan, whom customers described as her “errand boy,” obtained 450 oxycodone pills each month through prescriptions at two Milwaukee pain clinics, the Journal Sentinel reported. They also obtained some drugs from street dealers in Milwaukee, who sold pills and heroin to the girlfriend of Merget’s 31-year-old son, William Merget.
Fox 6 in Milwaukee reported that the trips to Milwaukee for heroin were made daily, with Merget’s friends and family members serving as her drug runners. One woman swallowed the heroin she’d just bought when she was pulled over for a traffic stop, authorities said.
Informants told state investigators that they bought drugs from Merget for as long as a decade, the Journal Sentinel reported. Investigators said that she used the majority of the profits from her dealing to help feed William Merget’s heroin addiction, as well as the addiction of a daughter.
The arrests come after a yearlong investigation by agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, along with the Washington County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Group. Investigators used a total of 14 informants to build the case, Fox 6 reported.
They also used GPS devices to track vehicles used in the operation, the news station said.
The Journal Sentinel reported that, besides Duncan and Lori and William Merget, those named in the criminal complaint were John M. Plzak, 30, of Kewaskum; Lori Merget's nephew, Andrew J. Simons, 33, of Campbellsport; Katelyn Spang, 23, of Kewaskum; Rachel Kreif, 25, of Kewaskum; and Julie Ann Hansen, 46, of Hartford, who is Lori Merget's sister.