GREEN BAY — A Marinette woman, Karen Ann Sanchez, 38, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on heroin charges.

James L. Santelle, a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced the sentence. U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach handed down the sentence.

Sanchez had previously entered a guilty plea to a charge of using a communication facility (a telephone) to facilitate the distribution of heroin.

According to her plea agreement and other documents filed with the court, Sanchez worked in concert with eight other co-defendants to facilitate the movement and delivery of heroin to Marinette and Menominee from a primary supplier in Chicago.

The court noted the “devastating effect” that heroin use has had in the Marinette-Menominee region. The court described the coordinated actions of Sanchez and her co-defendants as essentially a “drug co-operative” designed not for the purpose of creating a profit, but to increase purchasing power and increase the frequency of coordinated “heroin runs” to Chicago.

The case was investigated by Special Agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Department of Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Marinette and Menominee police departments, the Marinette and Menominee county sheriff’s departments, the Wisconsin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, the Chicago HIDTA task force, the Chicago Police Department, the Northeast Wisconsin Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group and the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Humble.