MEQUON - The I-Team's cameras were rolling Wednesday morning when the McDonald's on Port Washington Road in Mequon shut down. No food was sold on this morning as police blocked off the parking lot and Federal Drug Enforcement Agents investigated.
They searched the McDonalds in Mequon, Fox Point and Glendale. All three restaurants are owned by Edward Patterson.
A newly unsealed search warrant accuses Patterson, who’s from Whitefish Bay, of using the McDonalds to “fund their drug trafficking activities, conceal their drug proceeds and promote their drug-trafficking activities.”
Federal agents claim Patterson, along with Kevin Breitzman of Glendale, Paul Markiewcz of Waukesha, Andrea Marquardt of Pewaukee, John Webler of Milwaukee along with a California man who sold marijuana.
According to the indictment it “involved 100 kilograms or more.” While the indictment accused Patterson of using the three McDonald's to funnel his drug money it also claims Patterson kept some of the drugs at his Whitefish Bay home on Belle Avenue. Patterson is accused of several firearms inside the house.
The indictment is lengthy. It includes several counts including money laundering, use of the mail to facilitate for drug trafficking, possession with intent to deliver hydrocodone, possession of a firearm for drug trafficking and conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
The indictment said the group also sold oxcycodone hydrochloride and methadone hydrochloride.
The I-Team was in court when the group made its initial court appearance. The federal judge ordered all the suspects to remain in jail except two. Andrea Marquardt is accused of running the drugs for Patterson. She and John Webler, he’s accused of referring clients and making deliveries, were both released with conditions.
The indictment did not mention any drugs were sold at any of the McDonalds. If convicted on the federal charges Patterson faces more than 40 years in prison.