Two people were arrested Wednesday after authorities raided a second methamphetamine lab in Oconto County, the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office announced.
Taken into custody were Wednesday were William J. Longsine, 49, and Abigail R. Santee, 25.
The arrests were made by Division of Criminal Investigation agents, Oconto County Sheriff’s deputies and Oconto Falls Police Department. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also is involved in the investigation, the AG’s office said.
Recovered in the search of 5196 St. Patrick’s Road, Lena, were approximately 20 grams of finished methamphetamine productm, materials necessary for the manufacture of methamphetamine, vessels suspected of having been used to produce and manufacture meth, meth manufacturing components, meth waste, and methamphetamine paraphernalia.
The property is located about 5.5 miles north of where U.S. 41 and 141 split. The address is Longsine’s residence, according to court and other online records.
The arrests came exactly four weeks after a meth lab and a small amount of the drug were found in search of an Oconto Falls trailer. The suspects in that case have pleaded not guilty to a total of 31 charges.
Arraignments for Wendy Pogrant, 51, Ashley Van Norman, 23, Nicolas Block, 28, and Joseph Anderson, 24, came after they waived preliminary hearings in Oconto County Circuit Court on June 19.
Pre-trial conferences for all four defendants were set for Aug. 14 by Judge Michael T. Judge.
Van Norman is Pogrant’s daughter, Block is Van Norman’s boyfriend, while Anderson is Block’s brother, according the criminal complaint. Block was staying at the trailer, though he shares a Green Bay address with Anderson.
They were arrested when local, state and federal authorities searched Van Norman and Pogrant’s trailer on May 28.
In the complaint, Van Norman said she helped Block and Anderson make methamphetamine using plastic bottles inside her bedroom. She said they started cooking meth in mid-April, starting on Machickanee Forest trails then transporting bottles back to her home to finish. They used the trails twice, private land near Highway 41/141 five or six times and her trailer about six times.
The complaint alleges the crimes were committed from March 1 to May 28.
A total of 27 charges were originally filed against the four, but the complaints have been amended to add one additional count against each defendant and revise a few others.
Van Norman and Block now face the same set of charges: Manufacturing of methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession of methamphetamine, possession of materials for manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of waste from methamphetamine manufacturing, possession of drug paraphernalia and manufacturing of methamphetamine. The maximum sentence would be 69 years.
Pogrant faces the same charges, except the two manufacturing of methamphetamine counts are instead conspiracy to commit manufacturing of methamphetamine. The maximum sentence is the same, 69 years.
Anderson faces the same counts as Van Norman and Block, except he is not charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place. The maximum sentence if convicted on all counts would be 65-1/2 years.
“Meth continues to be a danger to Wisconsin communities,” Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen said. “And the mobility associated with the manufacturing of this incredibly hazardous drug is alarming. This investigation serves as another important reminder to all Wisconsin residents to watch for the signs of a clandestine meth lab and alert authorities if a lab is suspected in your neighborhood.”
— Kent Tempus is the editor of the Oconto County Reporter.