Suspects in McDonald's drug bust appear in Federal Court

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Just two of the five suspects arrested for alleged drug trafficking at three Milwaukee-area McDonald's locations are still in custody as of Friday, October 18th.

Authorities believe the owner of all three restaurants, Edward Patterson, used his businesses as a cover to distribute marijuana and launder money.

Officials say the defendants were involved in purchasing large amounts of marijuana from Northern California and selling it around Milwaukee. Investigators have already confiscated several pounds of high-grade marijuana, 11 firearms and $90,000.

38-year-old Patterson of Whitefish Bay has been charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, money laundering, using the mail to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm, and possession with the intent to deliver hydrocodone.

Patterson's attorney asked for more time to review the case. Meanwhile, Patterson will remain behind bars until another hearing can be scheduled.

29-year-old Kevin Breitzman of Glendale is facing charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and using the mail to distribute. Breitzman is currently on probation for similar charges in California. He will remain in custody until his court date next week.

The judge has released 27-year-old Paul Markiewicz of Waukesha due to the fact that this is his first offence. Markiewicz is also facing charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and using the mail to distribute. He has been ordered not to have any contact with Patterson and Breitzman.

Markiewicz admitted to having a history a drug abuse. He will undergo random drug tests until his case goes to trial. The judge says Markiewicz will go back to jail if he is found using marijuana again. He has also been ordered to stay in this part of the state.

Two other suspects in the case were released shortly after their arrests on Wednesday, October 16th. DEA agents say another suspect, 42-year-old Paul Heiniger of Willits, California is still at large.