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UPDATE | Charges ahead in Washington Co., WI in fatal drug overdose | By Lt. of Detectives Tim Kemps

November 21, 2023 – Washington Co., WI – On Monday, November 20, 2023, investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division, in partnership with investigators from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force and Racine County Sheriff’s Office, made a second arrest in the suspected fatal fentanyl overdose death that occurred in the Village of Kewaskum on November 9th, 2023.

Authorities arrested a twenty-five-year-old City of Racine man in connection with the overdose death on Monday afternoon. A twenty-six-year-old Racine man had been arrested the day after the fatal overdose for his connection to the case. The twenty-six-year-old has remained in custody at the Washington County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond since November 10th and is due in court tomorrow, where formal charges are expected to be filed. The Racine man who was arrested yesterday is due in court later today for a bond hearing with formal charges anticipated in the coming weeks.

The investigation has shown that these two men allegedly drove from the City of Racine to the Village of Kewaskum to sell fentanyl to the victim on the night of the overdose, as well as another time several days before the overdose.

Now both men face charges for delivery of fentanyl and reckless endangering safety. The investigation into this case is not over and Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigators could potentially seek additional charges down the road for reckless homicide in connection with this case.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis said, “I understand these arrests will not bring the victim back to her family, which will no doubt be especially difficult over the upcoming holidays, but I am hopeful these arrests can provide some level of comfort to friends and family. I also hope those who sell dangerous drugs in our community take notice. We have an agency full of dedicated deputies and staff who are dedicated to keeping this community safe and secure. They are working day and night to prevent dangerous drugs like fentanyl from being distributed into our community while bringing to justice those that choose to bring it here.”

November 10, 2023 – Washington Co., WI – Investigators with the Washington County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division arrested a 26-year-old City of Racine man on Thursday in connection with a probable fatal fentanyl overdose in the Village of Kewaskum that occurred the prior day.

The Racine man is accused of setting up a drug transaction with the victim late Tuesday evening.

He came from Racine to the Village of Kewaskum where the drug deal was conducted. The victim is believed to have died a short time later. The victim’s official cause of death is pending autopsy results, but initial findings indicate fentanyl was likely involved.

Investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were requested to assist by the Village of Kewaskum Police Department early Wednesday morning.

In this case, the fentanyl was sold in the form of counterfeit oxycodone pills. The pills are blue and have the markings: “M” on one side and “30” on the other side. Counterfeit pills often contain lethal amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine and are extremely dangerous as they often appear identical to legitimate prescription pills at first glance, and the user is likely unaware of how lethal they can be. In this case, the suspect even bragged about the strength of the fake pills to the victim before the sale. Unfortunately, these have become all too common place in our community.

The identity of the Racine man is not being released at this time as he has not officially been charged. He will appear in court Friday for a bond hearing because investigators need more time to investigate this matter before determining what charges will be forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. This investigation is only in its infancy, but future charges could include delivery of fentanyl and reckless homicide. Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis hopes that this arrest made a day and a half after the death will send a message to those who think about bringing these dangerous drugs into the Washington County community.

 

“In less than 48 hours we were able to identify the suspect, track him down in Racine, and arrest him. This is the type of tenacity that this agency will bring to those who bring fentanyl into our community.” We would also like to thank the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and the  Kewaskum Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.

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