By Shereen Siewert
A 32-year-old Wausau man will spend 66 months in prison for his role in a major methamphetamine distribution ring that resulted in charges against 11 suspects.
Ger Moua was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Peterson for distributing methamphetamine and possession a firearm as a felon. Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, made the announcement on Friday.
O’Shea said Moua was a close associate of the leader of the drug trafficking operation, Lisa Xiong, early in the conspiracy. She helped Lisa Xiong by directly distributing methamphetamine and overseeing the money and drug exchanges of lower-level associates in the trafficking operation. Moua’s relevant conduct includes approximately 130 grams of methamphetamine.
During one drug deal in March 2019, Moua brought a firearm for protection and then used the gun as collateral while she awaited a larger methamphetamine supply. Judge Peterson noted the devastation left in the wake of the methamphetamine crisis but emphasized the increased danger to the community when a firearm is possessed during a drug deal.
Moua’s criminal history includes one prior state offense, and she was on supervision for that offense when she participated in this drug-trafficking operation. According to Judge Peterson, her history combined with her methamphetamine distribution and possession of a firearm warranted a lengthy sentence, to provide just punishment and protect the community.
Eleven people were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in September 2019 for their roles in this methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.
Charges against one of the original defendants were redacted from the indictment following the death of that individual.
Ger Moua is the final defendant to plead guilty and be sentenced. The others are:
- Meng Xiong, Wausau, was sentenced to 5 years on June 12, 2020;
- Chou Xiong, Wausau, was sentenced to 78 months on December 8, 2020;
- Soua Khang, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 7 years on December 9, 2020;
- Lisa Xiong, Wausau, was sentenced to 156 months on December 21, 2020;
- John Gates, Hewitt, Wisconsin. was sentenced to 5 years on December 23, 2020;
- Ya Yang, Wausau, was sentenced to 30 months on January 11, 2021;
- Vang Yang, St. Paul, Minnesota, was sentenced to 30 months on January 21, 2021;
- Chai Thao, Wausau, was sentenced to 5 years on March 1, 2021; and
- Chong Chueneng Moua, St. Paul, Minnesota, was sentenced to 84 months on March 2, 2021.
The charges against these defendants was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force; Marathon County Sheriff’s Office; Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation; Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office; Wausau Police Department; Everest Metro Police Department; and Wisconsin State Patrol. The prosecution of the cases has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Schlipper.