City and County settle West Central Drug Task Force claim

By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (NEWS RELEASE) - A settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit involving actions of the West Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force on February 24, 2009. By agreeing to the settlement, there was no admission of fault or liability on behalf of the City or County and any named individuals.

Gary and Lorraine Bergh’s house was entered by several officers in order to arrest their grandson, Ryan Erickson, who is a convicted drug felon. Mr. Erickson barricaded himself in a bedroom with access to a weapon and refused to give himself up. Allegations of the lawsuit include excessive force, unlawful detention, unlawful entry, bodily injury and property damage. During the tactical operation, the Bergh’s were removed from the residence for their own safety. A federal judge ruled the sheriff and the drug task force violated the Bergh’s rights when they had them sit in a squad car during the tactical operation. According to Sheriff Ron Cramer, “We believe the ruling was in error and the entire operation was conducted consistent with accepted law enforcement practices.” The current settlement eliminates the risk of further legal exposure including payment of the Bergh’s attorney fees which may have resulted from a trial.

The West Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug unit. The unit works active drug investigations and is a successful regional collaboration of resources. The Drug Task Force is proven to be very effective in disrupting or dismantling drug trafficking organizations.

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  • by Locally on Jul 26, 2012 at 04:53 AM
    I can see how people say this is the task force being at fault, but what if you had neighbors selling drugs out of their house, weapons, violent, etc. - you wouldn't want something done about that? I'm sure these officers go in homes and don't know what to expect. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you wanna walk into a home with people who are dealers, high all the time and have poor judgement? If these grandparents had been hurt then they would have sued. They sued anyways. Looks like they are covered either way.
  • by Eric on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:11 PM
    Hmmmmm, the federal judge says the drug task force violates citizens rights but true to the police state we live in Gestapo Kramer says they have done nothing wrong. Go figure
  • by Dan Location: Lake Hallie on Jul 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM
    If the drug unit knocks on your door and wants to speak with you, you might be a dirtbag.
    • reply
      by Travis on Jul 26, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to Dan
      If they don't want to speak to you, you may be a dirt bag as well.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM
    The West Central Drug Task Force is a waste of resources. They use most of their resources towards cannabis prohibition which should not even be illegal in the first place! Use those resources to get rid of the meth problem, and other hard drugs that actually ruin lives like heroin and cocaine. Quit wasting taxpayer dollars on a harmless plant!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2012 at 01:34 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Wether you want it to be legal or not still doesn't change the fact it is illegal. And it ruins nobody's life. What about when an employeer comes thru with a random drug test and people either are fired or quit because they know they can't pass it?
  • by left ec for this reason on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    oh big surprise jeff wilsons thugs doing something illegal. hes has been doing shady stuff for years its about time someone held him accountable
  • by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:20 AM
    so the police take them out of harm's way and put them in a squad car for their own protection. They sue and win. If the cops hadn't taken them out of harm's way, left them in the house, and they were injured they would sue. sounds like a no win situation for the cops.
    • reply
      by wow... on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM in reply to
      ya im sure they would have been injured if they hadnt been put in the car, in the back seat, more then likely handcuffed. the only ones who would have injured them would have been the cops and then ya theyd be getting sued!!! maybe they should have done they home work and nabbed the man when he wasent at his parents house, maybe when he was just arriving home and had just gotten out of his car vs when hes inside "where he (can) barricade(s) himself into the bedroom within reach of a weapon".....nj guys way to do your home work *clap* btw i just saw a methhead down on barstow st, just so ya know...
  • by Bob Location: Chippewa on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:12 AM
    The grandson is a dirtbag, but it's the drug units fault that the grandparents allowed him into their house. If they allowed him to stay in the house where guns are they should have been charged for arming a felon.
    I am sure if you ask the grandparents they would say he's a good boy and everyone picks on him.
    It's time to cut the cord!
    • reply
      by anon on Jul 26, 2012 at 04:50 AM in reply to Bob
  • by James on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:43 AM
    This same task force came to my residence to question my son, we cooperated and even let them conduct a search of the house without a warrant they still cuffed him and took him in at 11 pm and brought him back at 5am and said it was mistaken identity, no apology or nothing, I almost got an attorney but changed my mind, just a bunch of local yocals acting like big city t.v.drug busters. As a result of this I will never willingly cooperate again and they can jump through the appropriate hoops if they want to enter my home again.
    • reply
      by Gary on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:55 AM in reply to James
      It seems cramers accepted practices are less than legal and I have experienced similar situations to yours
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2012 at 09:26 AM in reply to Gary
        its the whole task force. planting drugs to get convictions is their style. be careful to let them in your home unless your seeking trouble.
  • by Thomas Location: Eau Claire on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:24 AM
    These people should have been arrested for knowingly allowing their loser grandson and his loser friends to operate a meth lab in their home.
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