A Mindoro man is facing drug charges after police allegedly found methamphetamine, mushrooms and marijuana during a Mauston traffic stop.
John Rommel, Jr., is charged with two counts of felony bail jumping, felony possession of methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted he faces up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each of the bail jumping charges and up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 for the methamphetamine charge.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 3:33 a.m. Oct. 6, Officer Blake Fish of the Mauston Police Department observed a vehicle with an expired registration traveling on Gateway Avenue. He initiated a traffic stop with the driver pulling over into a hotel parking lot.
Fish approached the driver, later identified as John Rommel, who opened the door to speak with Fish because the window did not work. Asked for identification and proof of insurance, Rommel provided a Wisconsin ID card and explained his license was suspended.
Rommel was driving with a passenger who identified himself verbally by a name later determined to be a false name. The passenger appeared hesitant about providing any information.
Fish forwarded both provided names to search for warrants, with Rommel’s name returning two felony warrants from Monroe County for bond violations. The passenger’s name returned no warrants or license issued.
Returning to the vehicle, Fish asked Rommel to exit the car and speak with him. While speaking with Rommel, Fish was informed by another deputy that the passenger’s name was for a deceased person with an obituary.
Fish placed Rommel under arrest and searched his person. In his right front pocket Fish found a clear plastic container with a white powdery substance inside. Asked what the substance was, Rommel said “probably drugs.”
During a search of the vehicle, officers found a bag containing dry mushroom caps and stems and a partially burnt marijuana cigarette. Both items were found under the passenger seat.
Fish contacted the passenger again and told him he needed to be honest about his name because they had determined the name he had given belonged to a deceased person. The passenger, a 17-year-old minor, then gave his real name.
The mushrooms and the contents of the clear plastic container were tested using a field test pouch. The mushrooms tested positive for psilocybin and the powdery substance tested positive for methamphetamine. Back at the station, the cigarette was tested and returned a positive result for THC.
Rommel is next scheduled for a status conference Jan. 6, 2021 at the Juneau County Justice Center. The minor was charged with misdemeanors for possession of psilocybin, possession of THC, and resisting or obstructing an officer.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.