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BRANDON BERG 

Justyne Burgess


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Chippewa Falls man arrested in overdose case, large amount of drugs seized

An investigation into the recent death of Nicholas J. Buck, 40, of Chippewa Falls turned up a potential first-degree reckless homicide charge for a Chippewa Falls man – and roughly $48,000 in heroin, cocaine and other drugs.

“This is one of the largest drug seizures for the Chippewa Falls Police Department in recent history,” Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm said in a press release.

The department is investigating Buck’s death on Nov. 22, treating it as a heroin overdose, and found evidence suggesting Shane P. Johnson, 40, of Chippewa Falls supplied the heroin involved.

Law enforcement searched Johnson’s residence on the 16000 block of 50th Avenue the day after Buck’s death, seizing an array of drugs and drug paraphernalia, including:

  • One-half pound of methamphetamine
  • 23 grams of heroin
  • 21 grams of cocaine
  • One pound of marijuana
  • Over 100 bottles of suspected steroids
  • Over $5,000 in cash
  • Two pistols

The total is valued at approximately $48,000. Other powders and liquids, suspected to be illegal drugs, were also seized but have yet to be identified. “Our investigators were shocked by the sheer amount and variety of drugs located during the subsequent search warrant of Shane Johnson’s residence,” Kelm said in a Monday press release.

Johnson was arrested that day, Nov. 23, and may face charges of:

  • First-degree reckless homicide
  • Delivery of heroin
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Maintaining a drug trafficking place
  • Possession with intent to deliver THC
  • Possession with intent to deliver cocaine
  • Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine
  • Possession with intent to deliver heroin
  • Possession with intent to deliver designer drugs (steroids)
  • Possession of other controlled substance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

A woman, April Lonetree, also lived at the residence with Johnson, and was taken into custody Nov. 24. Lonetree may face charges of maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession of an illegally obtained prescription, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and possession of a Schedule III controlled substance.

Two small children also lived with Johnson and Lonetree. The children are in a safe location with the help of the Chippewa County Department of Human Services, the press release said. Johnson and Lonetree are also being investigated for potential charges of reckless endangerment of a child.

In 2009, Johnson – who then resided in Osseo – was found guilty of possession of methamphetamine and manufacturing/delivering amphetamine in Chippewa County, court records showed.

Johnson initially appeared in court Monday, and he is being held on $100,000 cash bond. Lonetree is being held on $2,500 cash bond.

“We also wish to express our thanks to the many agencies that assisted with this investigation over the holiday weekend including the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, the Lake Hallie Police Department, the Chippewa County Department of Human Services, the Chippewa County Coroner, the Chippewa County District Attorney’s Office and the Chippewa Falls Police Department Chaplains Program,” Kelm said in the press release.


LEE NEWSPAPERS 

The 9-day gun deer season is slated to start Saturday, Nov. 18.


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17-year-old faces drug trafficking, meth charges

A 17-year-old Chippewa Falls girl has been charged in Chippewa County Circuit Court with maintaining a drug trafficking place and manufacturing and delivering methamphetamine, according to court records filed Monday.

The defendant allegedly sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with Chippewa Falls Police Department investigators.

In September and October, while working with several police investigators, the informant purchased methamphetamine on two separate occasions from the female defendant at a residence on the 700 block of Oak Street in Chippewa Falls, court records showed.

According to the criminal complaint:

“According to CCAP records, on the above-stated two dates, the defendant was subject to two felony bonds in Eau Claire County cases … both of these bonds required the defendant not to commit any new crimes and not to possess and controlled/illegal substances.”

On Oct. 20, after being granted a search warrant of the same location on Oak Street where the defendant had sold the methamphetamine, investigators and officers from the Chippewa Falls and Lake Hallie Police Departments obtained and carried out a search warrant.

Two men were arrested after the search. Evan M. K. Gehde, 20, of Eau Claire was charged with bail jumping and possession of drug paraphernalia; Zamuel M. Leland, 18, of Chippewa Falls was also charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, criminal complaints showed.

The 17-year-old female defendant will make an initial appearance in Chippewa County Circuit Court Branch 3 before Judge Steven R. Cray on Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m.