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Green Bay - The Wisconsin Narcotics Officers Association recently recognized Special Agent Jim Engels and Special Agent Jeffrey Hale for their work on two high profile narcotic investigations.
Special Agent Jim Engels was part of a team recognized for its investigative work into "Operation White Water". On June 19, 2008 investigators from the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation, Jefferson and Dodge County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local agencies in the Watertown area arrested Maxima Pineda Buenaventura and 16 other individuals, resulting in the dismantling of a huge cocaine trafficking organization that consisted of close to 90 upper and lower level distributors.
Since July 2007, the Pineda Buenaventura organization distributed at least eight kilograms of cocaine per month in Jefferson County and Dodge County. The dismantling of this drug organization has had a significant impact on not only the Watertown area, but all of Dodge and Jefferson County for the distribution of cocaine.
Other members of the team recognized for their work in Operation White Water included: Special Agent Yvonne Jarosz of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Detective Brian Prieve and Deputy Kevin Day from the Dodge County Sheriff's Department and Detectives Laura Pauli and Adam Frederick from the Jefferson County Drug Task Force.
Special Agent Jeffrey Hale was recognized for his work as part of a team of investigators that worked the "White Shadow" case resulting in the elimination of a huge supply of high-grade marijuana from southeastern Wisconsin.
This case began when information was received indicating a group was bringing a large quantity (hundreds of pounds) of high-grade marijuana and distributing it throughout the Milwaukee area. Ultimately, this investigation resulted in fourteen search warrants issued in Milwaukee, Chicago, Gary, Indiana and northern California.
The profits members of this drug trafficking organization had been making were significant. Indicted property included substantial real estate holdings, boats, a Carver yacht, an airplane, a fleet of vehicles including a 1972 custom Chevelle and a Lucky's chopper.
Other members of the team recognized for their work on the White Shadow case include: Jamie Short of the Wauwatosa Police Department, William Majeskie of the Waukesha County Metro drug unit, David Baker of the Milwaukee Police Department and Matthew Gibson of the FBI.
"These cases showcase the cooperative nature of law enforcement at the state, local and federal level in Wisconsin and demonstrate what can be accomplished when we work together to fight the drug trade. I want to thank Special Agent Engels and Special Agent Hale for their dedication and hard work," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "I am proud to see Jim and Jeff honored for their dedicated service to the people of Wisconsin."
The Wisconsin Narcotics Officers Association (WNOA) is an organization of 400+ Federal, State, County and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers that are dedicated to the investigation and enforcement of state and federal narcotics laws.
The Investigation of the Year award recognizes an individual, group or task force, with an award for performing a specific investigation that had a significant impact on the community.