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Drug kingpin, meth cookers sentenced to federal prison


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) – A federal judge sentenced a drug kingpin Tuesday to 20 years in prison for conspiring to deal cocaine in the Wausau area.

Lawrence Williams oversaw a team of five criminals, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. During a one-year period, he gave 33 kilograms of crack cocaine and 11 kilograms of cocaine to Johnny Bruce Mathews for resale in the Wausau area. Williams also sold at least six pounds of marijuana and 36 ounces of ecstasy to Mathews on a front for resale in Wausau.

“You are obviously an intelligent man, why you could not direct your intelligence to a legal job is a loss for you and your son,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb told Williams.

Williams is awaiting trial in Buffalo, New York, on charges he conspired to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine from Chicago between August 2003 and September 2004. If convicted of those charges, he faces a minimum of 20 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil recognized three members of the team that brought Williams and Mathews down. He awarded plaques to Marathon County special investigations unit members Gary Schneck, Nathan Pauls and Michael Lechleitner.

Meanwhile, two other men were sentenced for cooking meth in Marathon and Lincoln counties in 2009. Thirty-year-old Jake Barttelt of Wausau will spend five-and-a-half years in prison. Thirty-year-old Shawn Ably of Two Rivers will spend six years in prison. A third accomplice will be sentenced November 3rd.