ALMA, Wis. (WEAU) – An area sheriff’s department says it arrested 14 people in one weekend in drug-related cases.
The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrested Jeremiah Breidung, 29, of Nelson, and Michael Krause, 28, of Wabasha, MN for meth possession on Saturday. The department says a K9 unit alerted investigators about the suspects during an ongoing drug investigation. It says both of them have a history of drug charges, and that Breidung also had outstanding warrants on car theft and meth dealing charges. Investigators found other drugs as they arrested the suspects.
The department expects more arrests in the case. It says one of the suspects said that the meth problem in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota is five times worse than it was two years ago.
The sheriff’s office also made 12 other drug arrests during the weekend. They were not related to the meth bust.
The Buffalo County Sheriff's Office says four weekend meth amphetamine arrests and 10 other drug arrests in the county are no longer a surprise.
"On weekends, when we have our k9 out there, we're seeing anywhere between 6 and 10 arrests for drug related offenses," investigator Lee Engfer said.
Deputies say on Saturday, Breidung and Krause were arrested after a dog sniffed out drugs in a car while they were inside this liquor store in Nelson.
With warrants out for both of them, officers found almost three grams of meth along with bags and a scale.
According to the criminal complaint, Breidung told police he bailed Krause out of a Rochester jail and was going to sell the meth in Bay City.
The growing drug problem is a concern for both police and schools in the area.
We see a lot more burglaries, thefts, domestic offenses, violent crime.
Alma Superintendent Steven Sedlmayr says he hasn't seen a problem at the school but knows drugs are out there and hopes his students will stay away from them.
"No community is isolated. It doesn't matter if it's a large or small community," Sedlmayr said.
"We work hard to try and keep drugs and alcohol at bay among student use while kids are still in high school. And news of local people being involved in this isn't good for any community. Especially a small one like ours," he said.
If convicted, Breidung and Krause face up to 12 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.