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Wausau Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Charges

Friday, June 2nd, 2023 -- 2:00 PM

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Lawrence E. Lavergne, 41, Wausau, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 9 years in federal prison for distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and possessing a firearm as a felon.

The prison term will be followed by 8 years of supervised release.  Lavergne pleaded guilty to these charges on February 14, 2023. On February 21, 2022, Lavergne sold 24 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in a hotel room in Rothschild.

Later that day, Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force officers executed a search warrant at the same hotel room.  When officers announced themselves at the door, Lavergne leapt out of the second story hotel room window.

He was taken into custody and had over $7,000 in cash on him, including $500 in prerecorded buy money from the drug deal earlier that day. A total of 233 grams of methamphetamine were located in the hotel room along with drug trafficking paraphernalia.

The day after Lavergne’s arrest, a woman contacted law enforcement to report that there were two firearms at her house in Antigo, Wisconsin that she believed belonged to Lavergne.

Officers responded and located a Hi-Point 9mm handgun, a Masterpiece Arms 9mm handgun, two loaded magazines, and a container with 9mm ammunition. Lavergne’s DNA was found on both handguns.

Lavergne was legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition based on multiple prior felony convictions. The firearms charge was filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, then transferred to the Western District when the defendant pleaded guilty.

At the time of these events, Lavergne was on state extended supervision in three separate cases, including a case involving drug trafficking and a case involving possessing a firearm as a felon.

Lavergne’s supervision has since been revoked in those cases and he has been re-confined in state prison with an anticipated release date of July 16, 2023. Judge Conley ordered that Lavergne’s 9-year federal sentence start today and run concurrently with the remainder of his state sentences.

At sentencing, Judge Conley told Lavergne that nothing seemed to have changed since his last federal sentence (a 2011 federal conviction for distribution of crack cocaine) and his conduct now seemed to be worse given the inclusion of firearms.

Judge Conley noted Lavergne had four state felony convictions since his prior federal offense. The charges against Lavergne were the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI's Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force comprised of investigators from the:

  • FBI,
  • Wisconsin State Patrol,
  • Lincoln County Sheriff's Office,
  • Marathon County Sheriff's Office,
  • Portage County Sheriff's Office,
  • Everest Metro Police Department,
  • Wausau Police Department
  • And Wisconsin National Guard Counter Drug Program.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven P. Anderson, Corey C. Stephan, and Daniel R. Humble (Eastern District of Wisconsin) prosecuted this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles:

  • Fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities,
  • Supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place,
  • Setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities,
  • And measuring the results.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.