Jocko's Rocket Ship Drug Bust
1999 – Madison, WI
Jocko's was a Downtown tavern where cocaine dealers operated for a 10-year period.
Seven Madison firefighters were disciplined after their names surfaced during a police
investigation of Jocko's. The bar owner was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his involvement
in the conspiracy.
Jocko's Investigation Timeline
Aug. 5, 1999: Undercover investigation of Jocko's Rocket Ship bar begins.
Dec. 11, 1999: Jocko's is stormed by 24 state, local and federal agents with shotguns
and rifles. Police hold employees and patrons for hours while carrying out a search warrant.
March 23, 2000: A federal grand jury indicts nine people, including the owner,
Robert "Boot" Schuh employees and several patrons on drug charges.
April 21: City leaders announce that the Madison Fire Department is investigating
allegations that 12 firefighters and a civilian employee used or sold illegal drugs.
April 24: Fire Chief Debra Amesqua suspends four firefighters with pay pending an
April 26: Authorities announce that a Madison police officer had been suspended with
pay while the department looked into his “association” with at least one firefighter being investigated.
May 18: The police officer is cleared of wrongdoing.
June 20: A bartender John Salmon pleads guilty to conspiring to run Jocko's
as a drug house for 10 years.
July 7: A Suspended firefighter Okoto Torti is fired because of an expired
July 20: A drug dealer Christopher Mims pleads guilty to cocaine conspiracy
in exchange for recommended leniency at sentencing.
July 24: Federal magistrate denies the city access to grand jury documents, which the
city wanted to aid its investigation of firefighters.
July 26: Another drug dealer David Lund pleads guilty to cocaine conspiracy
in exchange for recommended leniency.
July 30: Jocko's owner is arrested on charges of causing a drunken disturbance at a
July 31: Jocko's owner pleads guilty to running Jocko's as a drug house for powder
cocaine users for 10 years. Also his major supplier Jeremiah Mathews admits to a decade-long drug
conspiracy in exchange for recommended leniency.
Aug. 2: Two Jocko's bartenders Rick Grafton & Lisa Nolen plead guilty to cocaine
conspiracy in exchange for leniency.
Aug. 9: A third drug dealer Curtis Lane and a 4th bartender James C. Leon plead
guilty to drug conspiracy in exchange for leniency.