Eau Claire store owner charged with selling fentanyl, other drugs

The owner of Drip Kickz on Water Street was arrested April 21.
42-year-old Duane Perkins was arrested April 21, 2022 and is charged with selling fentanyl and...
42-year-old Duane Perkins was arrested April 21, 2022 and is charged with selling fentanyl and other drugs out of his business, Drip Kickz, in Eau Claire, Wis.(Eau Claire County Jail)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 3:17 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The owner of an Eau Claire store on Water Street is charged with selling fentanyl and other drugs.

42-year-old Duane Perkins of Eau Claire, the owner of Drip Kickz, received 14 total charges, including 12 felony charges, in Eau Claire County Circuit Court Monday.

Perkins is charged with four counts of selling fentanyl, one count of possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute, one count each of possession of MDMA and possession of THC with intent to distribute, one count of maintaining a drug trafficking place, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, one charge of pointing a firearm at another person, one count of forgery and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to online court records. All of the drug possession or distribution charges come with modifiers of being a second or subsequent offense.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the charges in court, an investigator with the Eau Claire Police Department and West Central Drug Task Force received information about a large-scale drug trafficking operation in the City of Eau Claire. Several tips to the Task Force indicated the owner of Drip Kickz, Duane Perkins, who is also known as D.J., had been selling drugs out of the store for around a year. Some tips the Task Force received said that Perkins was selling fentanyl.

One of the sources told the Task Force that in January, Perkins got into a disagreement with one of his customers. The customer, a man, was unhappy with the quality of the fentanyl he had received from Perkins, and it escalated to the point that Perkins pointed a gun at the man. A second source confirmed the incident.

With the use of a confidential informant, the Task Force was able to record on video four different sales of fentanyl to the informant from February to March. Investigators arrested Perkins on April 21 and found four MDMA pills, one Xanax pill and marijuana. Inside of Drip Kickz, investigators found a handgun under the cash register, THC, fentanyl and a large number of counterfeit $100 bills.

Perkins told investigators at first that he only sold small amounts of marijuana, but after being presented with information about his sales of fentanyl to an informant, Perkins said that he helped people find fentanyl and other drugs. He also told investigators that he used fentanyl once or twice per month, and that he sells fentanyl to support his own drug habit. Perkins also told investigators that he had picked up heroin from a source in the Twin Cities, but restated that he was helping people get what they need. In regards to the gun, Perkins called it his “shop gun” and confirmed that he had pointed the gun at another person in January, and said the man he pointed it at came into his store was acting crazy. Perkins said to investigators that he was not aware he could not have a gun, but investigators noted that Perkins had previously been convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Perkins is being held on a $250,000 cash bond at the Eau Claire County Jail. If he posts bond, he must maintain absolute sobriety, comply with pre-trial monitoring services, surrender his passport and remain in Eau Claire County if released, and have no contact with anyone involved in illegal drug activities. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 3, according to online court records.

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