A Wonewoc resident is charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place and child neglect after being arrested April 28.

Jenna L. Bengtson, 37, of Wonewoc face charges of maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession of cocaine, neglecting a child, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is facing up to three years and six months in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both for the drug trafficking charge, and up to one year in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both for the cocaine charge. The child neglect charge also carries a $10,000 fine or nine months in prison, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

On April 25, Wonewoc Police conducted a K-9 search at Wonewoc Center Schools as part of routine drug enforcement through the year. Information was gathered from the operation regarding a group of male students using and dealing controlled substances.

On April 26, Union Center Police Chief Chad Rick received information regarding a minor, the child of Jenna Bengston, selling marijuana, dab cartridges, and cocaine. Specific details were given about a “smoke room” in the basement of a residence on Jackson St. in Wonewoc owned by Bengston.

Rick was told that inside the “smoke room” there was a grinder and pipes for use of illegal drugs by customers, and the minor allowed juveniles into the room with Bengston aware, for the use of drugs. Rick was also told the minor used and sold products from out of the residence and his vehicle, and Bengston used marijuana and cocaine in the presence of her other minor children inside the residence.

Wonewoc Police Chief Julie Ott and Rick drafted a warrant, signed by a judge April 28, for the search of the residence and vehicles. Officers executed the warrant the same day in the late evening.

Upon entry to the residence, officers located the minor on the living room couch. The minor was placed in hand restraints and monitored by an officer during the search. Officers also located two additional minor children in the residence, who were brought to the living room. One of the minors repeated over and over “I knew this would happen.”

Bengston was located coming out of the basement “smoke room,” where she threw a wooden box into the trash. She was arrested, served a copy of the search warrant, and placed in a police vehicle.

Officers, including Chief Ott, Elroy Police Chief Tony Green, and Hillsboro Police Chief Pat Clark, searched the home. Green and Clark searched the “smoke room,” photographing the room and taking items out one by one for processing by Ott.

During the search, 4.6 grams of cocaine and additional paraphernalia were located in the “smoke room” in the wooden box Bengston attempted to throw away. Additional paraphernalia were found throughout the room, and a loaded Ruger 357 mag handgun and $785 in cash were found in a safe.

In the bedroom on the main level of the house, officers found pills on the headboard of the bed, prescription bottles on the bed stand, plastic baggies with a white residue, and a zip bag containing small gem bags with corners cut out used in distributing drugs.

In the attic, officers found drug paraphernalia for smoking marijuana, and mirrors with residue.

Rick read Bengston her Miranda rights, revealed pending charges, and told her there might be additional charges related to maintaining a drug house and regarding her children. Bengston said that she took responsibility and everything seized inside the house was her property. She was then transported to the Juneau County Jail.

Bengston is scheduled for an initial appearance on May 15 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

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

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

We welcome reader interaction. What are your questions about this article? Do you have an idea to share? Please stick to the topic and maintain a respectful attitude toward other participants. (You can help: Use the 'Report' link to let us know of off-topic or offensive posts.)