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MADISON - The Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center recently recognized Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent Jim Engels for his work as part of the Jefferson County Drug Task Force. The award was for Outstanding Cooperation & Performance based upon good criminal information sharing through the services of the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC). MOCIC provided resources that allowed case agents to investigate and infiltrate the Pineda Drug Trafficking Organization.
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 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.
"Operation White Water demonstrates the cooperative nature of law enforcement at the state, local and federal level in Wisconsin and demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together to fight the drug trade. I want to thank Special Agent Engels for his dedication and hard work, " said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "I am proud to see Jim honored for his dedicated service to the people of Wisconsin."
The Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center provides services to member agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin as well as Canada. MOCIC focuses on narcotics trafficking, professional traveling criminals, organized crime, criminal gangs, and violent crime.
The case was recently highlighted by the Associated Press in a story entitled "Mexican Drug Ring Reaches Into Watertown Small City Not Immune to Big Operation." The AP story can be found at http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/51065972.html.