A Chippewa Falls man, who is already serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for supplying drugs to two men in November 2017 who later died, was convicted Monday of homicide in one of those cases.
Shane P. Johnson, 43, 16056 50th Ave., pleaded no contest Monday in Chippewa County Court to first-degree reckless homicide/delivery of drugs and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Johnson, who is incarcerated at a federal facility in Rochester, Minn., appeared via phone at the hearing. He will appear in person for his sentencing, which Judge Steve Gibbs set for Jan. 21. Gibbs ordered a pre-sentence investigation report.
Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell was hesitant to comment because he hadn’t spoken with the families of the victims.
“All convictions that avoid trials are good for the community,” Newell added.
Johnson also had been charged with: manufacture or deliver of narcotics, possession of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and non-narcotics, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Those charges were read-in and dismissed.
Johnson was arrested Nov. 24, 2017, two days after 40-year-old Nicholas J. Buck was found deceased at his Chippewa Falls’ home of a suspected drug overdose. Law enforcement officials believe that Johnson supplied the drugs to Buck.
The charges also state Johnson provided drugs to 28-year-old Samuel Ott, who died in Eau Claire Nov. 18, 2017.
When Johnson’s home was searched, officers found 238 grams of meth, 432 grams of marijuana, 23.1 grams of heroin, 21.1 grams of cocaine, 284 vials of what officers believed to be steroids, and multiple bags of unknown powders. The meth was analyzed and determined to be 98 percent pure.
On March 6, 2018, Johnson pleaded guilty to possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Last May, he was sentenced to serve 20 years in a federal prison.
Johnson had two prior drug offense convictions. Online court records show Johnson was convicted in 2009 in Chippewa County Court of second-degree reckless injury and possession of meth, and he was ordered to serve a four-year prison sentence, along with another four years of extended supervision. He also has been convicted of criminal trespass, obstructing an officer, bail jumping, escape, and drunk driving on four occasions.
The Department of Justice was handling just the drug offenses and not the death.
Johnson’s girlfriend, 41-year-old April J. Lonetree, was arrested alongside Johnson, but her matter wasn’t transferred to federal court.
Lonetree pleaded guilty in September 2019 to possession of meth and illegally obtained prescriptions, maintaining a drug trafficking place and resisting or obstruction an officer. She was placed on four years of probation.