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Mauston man charged in controlled cocaine buy

Mauston man charged in controlled cocaine buy

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A Mauston man is facing charges for cocaine after police orchestrated a controlled buy of drugs.

Joseph Steinmetz, 44, of Mauston is charged with felony delivery of cocaine, less than one gram, and felony delivery of tetrahydrocannabinols, less than 200 grams. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of $25,000, or both, on the cocaine charge and up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, on the tetrahydrocannabinols charge.

According to the criminal complaint:

While working in conjunction with the Juneau County Drug Task Force on Nov. 1, 2019, Detective Jay Greeno met with a confidential informant for a controlled purchase of marijuana by the confidential informant from Joseph Steinmetz.

While meeting with Greeno, the confidential informant contacted Steinmetz to arrange the buy. The confidential informant and the confidential informant’s vehicle was searched for any contraband that would compromise the investigation, but no contraband was found, and the confidential informant was supplied with controlled currency to make the purchase. The confidential informant was further supplied with an electronic recording device.

Officers followed the confidential informant to the designated meeting location in Lisbon, where the confidential informant made contact with Steinmetz. After about nine minutes, the confidential informant left the meeting and was followed by officers to another predetermined location.

Once at the location, the confidential informant provided the officers with a baggie with green plant like material inside, which the confidential informant identified as marijuana. A search of the confidential informant’s vehicle revealed no contraband. A test of the substance, which weighed about 4.8 grams, gave a positive result for THC.

On Nov. 5, 2019 Greeno met with a confidential informant for a controlled purchase of cocaine by the confidential informant from Joseph Steinmetz. The confidential informant and the confidential informant’s vehicle was searched for any contraband that would compromise the investigation. Finding no contraband, the confidential informant was supplied with controlled currency to make the purchase and an electronic recording device.

Officers followed the confidential informant to a location in Mauston, where the confidential informant met with Steinmetz to purchase cocaine. During the meeting the confidential informant was instead directed to meet with Steinmetz at a separate location in Mauston for the delivery of the cocaine. After going to the second location and meeting with Steinmetz, the officers followed the confidential informant to a predetermined meeting location.

At the meeting location the confidential informant provided officers with a baggie with a white powdery substance inside, which the confidential informant identified as cocaine. A test of the substance, with weighed about one gram, gave a positive result for cocaine.

Steinmetz is scheduled for an initial appearance Aug. 12 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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