By Shereen Siewert
MADISON — A 39-year-old Wausau man is facing up to 50 years in federal prison after being indicted Wednesday in Madison on drug and weapons charges.
Craig C. Gates, 39, is accused of having more than 100 grams of heroin in his possession when he was arrested in February, along with a loaded semi-automatic handgun. Gates is a convicted felon and is not allowed to own a firearm, according to court records.
Gates, along with 34-year-old Daryl Harris and 18-year-old Cassidy Milonczyk were arrested in February near Mosinee, court records show. That’s when police discovered more than five ounces of heroin, valued at $60,000, in the vehicle, leading to an expanded investigation of the trio’s alleged drug trafficking operation.
The amount of heroin seized during the investigation is the county’s largest to date, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.
In light of the federal filing, local charges against Gates are expected to be dismissed.
Harris, who faces felony drug and weapons charges filed Feb. 7 in Marathon County Circuit Court, has a hearing set for July 7. The next hearing in Marathon County Circuit Court for Milonczyk is July 26. Of the three suspects, only Gates has so far been indicted in federal court.
Harris is scheduled to head to trial in Marathon County July 18 for his alleged role.
If he is convicted, Gates faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison on the drug charge, and a maximum penalty of 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge. The charge of possessing a firearm while committing a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory penalty of five years in federal prison, which would be served consecutively to any sentence imposed on the heroin charge.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Reinhard.4551274-0--12601