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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
For Immediate Release
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-wdwi
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

La Crosse Woman Sentenced to 20 Months for Conspiring To Distribute Methamphetamine & Fentanyl

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Paige Roberts, 25, La Crosse, Wisconsin was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 20 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. This prison term will be followed by a 5-year term of supervised release. Roberts pleaded guilty to this charge on May 11, 2023.

The La Crosse Police Department began their investigation of Roberts and her co- defendant, Raphiel Kuntu, in January 2022, after a housekeeper at a hotel located a significant amount of controlled substances in a hotel room rented by Roberts. Roberts took ownership of the substances only after Kuntu left the scene, and after she flushed other controlled substances down a toilet. During the course of this investigation, police utilized a confidential informant to purchase methamphetamine and fentanyl from Kuntu on two occasions. In April 2022, officers executed a search warrant at a residence Roberts shared with Kuntu. In their shared bedroom, officers recovered approximately 21 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.5 pounds of fentanyl, along with other controlled substances and a loaded firearm.

A search of Roberts’s and Kuntu’s cellphones revealed Roberts was aware of and assisted Kuntu with his drug dealing. Kuntu previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Kuntu was sentenced by Judge Peterson on August 9, 2023 to 12 years in prison.

At sentencing Judge Peterson stated that a 20-month sentenced held Roberts accountable for her role in the drug dealing conspiracy, which he said Roberts “embraced.” Judge Peterson also considered Roberts’s good performance on pre-trial supervision in fashioning a sentence.

The charges against Roberts and Kuntu are the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor L. Kraus handled the prosecution.

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