Area's top drug house identified, continue to make arrests in the area|
|District Attorney Ralph Uttke Tuesday identified a South Hudson Street home as the “number one drug house in the county” as a slate of individuals, including the alleged “kingpin” of the operation, rolled before Judge Fred Kawalski on a slate of criminal charges.|
Their arrests were what officials advise are “just the first of many” linked to an investigation which has been more than a month in the making by law enforcement from the Langlade County Sheriff’s Department and the Antigo Police Department.
The sale and illegal use of marijuana, a drug known as crystal meth and a variety of prescription pills, including high-powered morphine, were all linked to the “Clean Sweep” probe which tracked through Antigo and into the eastern part of the county.
At the investigation’s focus was 30-year-old Lindsay Hodges, the owner of the property at 537 S. Hudson St. where officials allege was at the center of more than a dozen controlled buys with the cooperation of a confidential informant.
“Here we have the kingpin of the operation,” Uttke said in his bail argument before the court. “There are charges stemming from this house that haven’t even been issued yet.”
The allegations are serious with Hodges facing more than 30 years in prison on a combination of felony counts — two each for the delivery of both marijuana and methamphetamine and an additional count of maintaining a house for the purpose of trafficking drugs. The alleged sales involved an estimated $290 in marijuana on April 16, jewel bags of various small amounts of crystal meth on both April 17 and April 28 and more marijuana on May 12.
During the search, investigators seized hundreds of dollars in bills, an AR-15 assault rifle, large plastic bags filled with marijuana buds, piles of pills and an assortment of drug paraphernalia.
Four vehicles, including a new, luxury-type sedan were impounded as part of the investigation.
Hodges’ alleged suppliers and buyers were among those arrested when law officers executed a search warrant at her home on Tuesday.
Included was 23-year-old Colton Belott of Antigo who was captured as authorities were inside the home lying in wait for his and other’s arrival.
Belott, who lists an address of 246 S. Virginia St., was among the visitors. According to documents filed with the court on Wednesday, Belott came equipped with a supply of drugs — an estimated half a pound of marijuana — on the agreement that he would be paid $1,700 upon delivery including $300 owed by him to Hodges.
That marijuana was seized and Belott was ordered held on a cash bond of $1,200 on a felony charge involving the manufacture or delivery of marijuana as a second or subsequent offense. Due to prior offenses, penalties on the charge increased to over 12 years of incarceration.
His vehicle, a 2014 Suburu, was also seized as part of the investigation.
Hodges’ roommate, 24-year-old Brittany D. Eldridge was also taken into custody.
Although a self-described “renter” of the property who alleged she played no part in the crimes, her list of allegations are also serious — being party to a crime of keeping a drug house, possession of marijuana as a second or subsequent offense, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of an illegally obtained prescription drug.
“This was the number one drug house in the county, up until yesterday,” Uttke said. “There is no doubt that she was aware of the activity in this house.”
Bail was set at $500 cash.
Also jailed in connection with the investigation were Nathan R. Bailey, 23, of 934 Deleglise St. on a felony count involving the delivery of methamphetamine. Charged as a repeat offender, Bailey risks up to 14 1/2 years of incarceration on the count. It stems from an alleged sale of half a gram of meth at the South Hudson Street home on May 5.
Officials indicate that Bailey’s name was also mentioned in a drug conversation between Hodges and another male in which Hodges said she believed Bailey was “grabbing up” in Wausau. His bond was set at $2,500 cash.
Michael Delcore, 25, of Illinois was also nabbed at the Hudson Street location at the time of the search but his charges are non-drug related. His counts include a felony charge of bail jumping an obstructing an officer.
According to court documents, he gave police a false name when questioned on his identity — evidently to cover up the fact that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant dating to 2010. The old charge was for possessing marijuana. Bond in Delcore’s case was set at $2,500 cash.
Tuesday’s “Clean Sweep” operation additionally included the arrests of several others involving allegations of drug-related activity across the county. Included were:
—Timothy J. Fry, 44, of N2501 Highway 55, White Lake, on a felony charge of delivery of a Schedule I or II narcotic, a crime carrying a potential jail term of 15 years. It involved the alleged sale of 30 morphine pills to an informant on May 12. Bail was set at $400 cash.
—Cassandra Wildman, 26, 713 Graham Ave., on a felony charge of delivery of amphetamine involving the alleged sale of five Adderall pills to an informant on May 12. The crime carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 1/2 years. Bail was set at $350 cash.
—Jaysen Kaiser, 34, White Lake on a felony count involving the manufacture or delivery of marijuana. His counts date to an investigation conducted in March involving alleged drug dealings at a tavern in eastern Langlade County.
According to court documents, Kaiser allegedly sold $30 of marijuana to an informant on March 19. Officials said videotape footage also shows Kaiser “pulling out a pipe and smoking marijuana. Bail was set at $500 cash.
All of the individuals are scheduled to return to court in coming weeks.
The county's leading drug house, above, and "kingpin,'' Lindsay Hodges, right.
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