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Owner of McDonald's restaurants charged with running drug ring

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A suburban Milwaukee restaurant owner is accused of using three McDonald's locations to pay for a drug trafficking operation -- and to launder profits from those drugs. 

A federal grand jury has indicted 38-year-old Edward Patterson of Whitefish Bay on counts possessing marijuana, conspiring to deliver it, and money laundering. Four other Milwaukee area suspects have been charged, along with a 42-year-old California man. 

They're all accused of sending large amounts of marijuana from the Golden State, to be sold in the Milwaukee area. 

Fifteen search warrants were executed as part of the operation. Agents seized $90,000, 11 guns, and an undisclosed amount of marijuana.   

Patterson owns McDonald's restaurants in Glendale, Mequon, and Fox Point. 

Officials said he made three drug deposits in the restaurants' checking accounts totaling over $12,000.