MADISON, WIS. — Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Blake H. Handrick, 41, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James Peterson to four years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Handrick pleaded guilty to this charge on March 1, 2018.
The government’s investigation into Handrick revealed that he was the leader of a large-scale conspiracy to distribute marijuana throughout Wisconsin. Beginning in the summer of 2015, Handrick recruited couriers to drive to the State of Washington and pick up loads of marijuana between 30 to 50 pounds. Once the marijuana was brought to Eau Claire, Handrick worked with others to repackage and sell it.
On December 28, 2015, Handrick sold approximately 26 pounds of marijuana to an undercover police officer. Later that day, law enforcement officers executed a series of search warrants at locations associated with Handrick’s marijuana trafficking organization and recovered approximately 40 pounds of marijuana. In addition, officers found two drug ledgers at Handrick’s residence. The first ledger showed that Handrick distributed approximately 31 pounds of marijuana during October 2015. The second ledger showed that Handrick distributed approximately 78 pounds of marijuana in December 2015.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Peterson found that Handrick was responsible for bringing nearly 300 pounds of marijuana into Wisconsin during the course of the conspiracy from August through December 2015. Judge Peterson also noted that Handrick’s long-term involvement in the conspiracy along with his leadership role were important considerations in handing down the sentence.
The charge against Handrick was a result of an investigation conducted by the West Central Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.