MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Zachary Tepsa, 33, Eau Claire, Wisconsin was sentenced on Friday, June 25 by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 10 years in federal prison for distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine. This prison term will be followed by 4 years of supervised release. Tepsa pleaded guilty to this charge on January 27, 2021.
On March 12, 2019, officers with the West Central Drug Task Force purchased 12.9 grams of pure methamphetamine from Tepsa through a confidential informant in Eau Claire. At the time, Tepsa was on state supervision for a prior conviction for delivery of methamphetamine. Through further investigation, law enforcement discovered that Tepsa was involved in extensive methamphetamine trafficking in western Wisconsin.
In imposing the sentence and discussing the severity of Tepsa’s drug trafficking, Judge Peterson said that Tepsa was a significant player and had people dealing underneath him. Additionally, Judge Peterson emphasized the need to protect the community from Tepsa’s drug dealing.
Tepsa is currently serving two state prison sentences for delivering methamphetamine and for fleeing or eluding an officer in a vehicle, with a projected release date in May 2023. Judge Peterson ordered this federal sentence to run concurrently with those state prison sentences.
The charge against Tepsa was the result of an investigation conducted by the West Central Drug Task Force, Chippewa and Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Departments, Eau Claire Police Department, Eau Claire District Attorney’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson.
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