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McDonald's owner accused of using restaurant in drug conspiracy

Milwaukee -- Six people are federally charged with a drug conspiracy that seems like a plot from the TV series \"Breaking Bad.\"

The U.S. Department of Justice says some of the suspects including 38-year-old Edward Patterson of Whitefish Bay, used three McDonald's Restaurants owned by Patterson, as a front to fund and promote drug trafficking activities, and conceal their drug proceeds.

The restaurants are located in Glendale, Fox Point, and Mequon.

CBS 58 News was there this morning when police raided Patterson's Whitefish Bay home.  They also executed more than a dozen other search warrants throughout the area including at the McDonald's Restaurants.

Federal agents recovered several pounds of high-grade marijuana, 11 firearms, and about $90,000 in cash.   

In addition to Patterson, charges were also filed against 29-year-old Kevin Breitzman of Glendale, 27-year-old Paul Markiewicz of Germantown, 29-year-old Andrea Marquardt of New Berlin, 39-year-old John Webler of Milwaukee, and 42-year-old Paul Heiniger of Willits, California.

The U.S. Attorney says the defendents were involved in a drug trafficking operation that obtained large amounts of marijuana from northern California, then shipped the drugs through the mail for distribution in the Milwaukee area.

Joe Kraft, Director of Operations for the McDonald's Chicago region said \"We take the allegations in the federal indictment against a local McDonald's franchisee very seriously and are fully cooperating with the authorities.  Because this is a pending legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further.\" 




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