MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced today that Michael Clark, 33, Chicago, Illinois, was found guilty of possessing 40 grams or more of fentanyl with intent to distribute. The jury reached its verdict yesterday evening after 30 minutes of deliberation following one day of testimony in U.S. District Court in Madison.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Clark was found in possession of fentanyl on October 14, 2015. Officers of the Northwest Area Crime Unit executed a search warrant at a room in a hotel in Superior that day, and when they entered the room, Clark was sitting at a table actively packaging a large amount of fentanyl. It was determined that he was in possession of over 80 grams of fentanyl.
During Clark’s arrest, a bag of fentanyl was found in his clenched hand. A scale and a large number of plastic sandwich bags were found in the room, along with 10 additional bags of fentanyl packaged for sale in half-gram quantities.
U.S. Attorney Blader said, “Fentanyl has proven to be a lethal substance linked to scores of overdose deaths in Wisconsin. My office is committed to prosecuting those who distribute and profit from this deadly drug.”
Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson scheduled sentencing for July 20, 2018. Clark faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison.
Clark is currently serving a 71-month federal prison sentence handed down in the Northern District of Illinois in September 2017 for conspiring to distribute fentanyl. Evidence in that case included a Facebook conversation Clark had with an associate, in which Clark described the potency of fentanyl he was distributing in the Duluth, Minnesota area and how it resulted in the deaths of four people.
The charge against Clark was the result of an investigation by the Northwest Area Crime Unit, Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Superior Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Duluth Police Department, and Hermantown (Minnesota) Police Department. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Darren Halverson and Julie Pfluger.