Washburn woman sentenced for drug conspiracy

An incarcerated man led the conspiracy, directing associates via phone calls while in custody.


SUPERIOR — A Washburn woman was sentenced Jan. 26 in U.S. District Court to five years in federal prison for her role in a heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine conspiracy that distributed drugs in the Bayfield and Ashland areas.

Marcie Leoso, 40, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 to conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl, according to a release from Timothy O’Shea, attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Leoso and co-conspirator Aaron Guski made several trips to pick up heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine from a source in Minnesota to redistribute in the Bayfield and Ashland areas in April and May 2020. Leoso was involved in moving 75 grams of fentanyl/heroin and more than 3 ounces of methamphetamine, according to the release.

The leader of the conspiracy, David Stone, was incarcerated at the time, but directed his associates on when to pick up drugs, how much to pay and where to distribute them throughout the area. U.S. District Judge William Conley remarked on how unbelievable it was that so many people were willing to participate in a drug conspiracy orchestrated via phone calls from an individual in custody.

Leoso is the first member of the conspiracy to be sentenced. Four other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty to federal charges. Stone is scheduled to be sentenced by Conley on Feb. 16, Chai Vang on April 26, Guski on April 28, and Mala Persaud on May 4.


The charges against the five individuals are the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Ashland Police Department, the Washburn Police Department, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Red Cliff Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

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