Local, state, and federal law enforcement officials announced today (Thursday) the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office filing of methamphetamine and fentanyl conspiracy charges in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court against 10 defendants, including a Ripon woman, as a result of an investigation that began in early 2022.
The joint investigation is being conducted by the city of Fond du Lac Police Department, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Drug Unit and Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The allegations involve the historical delivery and distribution of over 100 pounds of methamphetamine in 2022 with an approximate street value exceeding $1 million dollars and the early stages of fentanyl distribution in Fond du Lac County,” Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said. “Approximately 3.25 pounds of methamphetamine and 280 grams of fentanyl were seized during the investigation. The fentanyl seized was enough to kill every resident of Fond du Lac County, which has an approximate population of 104,000.”
He added that Fond du Lac County will continue to work together with law enforcement partners to “aggressively prosecute those that pollute our community with dangerous drugs and ensure those drug dealers are held accountable.” Toney said it’s an ongoing investigation and he expects additional defendants will be charged.
Fond du Lac Police Chief Aaron Goldstein noted that he and Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt are “committed to aggressively investigating and shutting down drug trafficking operations in the greater Fond du Lac area” and that he is “so proud of the teamwork and inter-agency collaboration of the Fond du Lac Police Department and Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office working together with our federal, state, and local partner agencies to effectively dismantle this large-scale drug trafficking operation and arrest those individuals involved in it.”
“Our officers and deputies working in close cooperation with the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group — Drug Unit was vital to investigative efforts that prioritized safety in our Fond du Lac communities,” Goldstein said.
The following defendants have been charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture or Deliver > 50 grams of Methamphetamine, a Class C felony punishable by up to 40 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000:
Melvin Kemp of Westland, Mich. (in custody, $500,000 bond);
Julie Kurczek of Fond du Lac (in custody, $250,000 bond);
Samantha Nett of Fond du Lac (in custody, $250,000 bond);
Jason Norton of Redford, Mich. (active warrant);
Kyla Ott of Ripon (in custody, $250,000 bond);
Dalton Wojkiewicz of Fond du Lac (active warrant);
Joshua Kerns of Fond du Lac (in custody, $200,000 bond);
Anthony Tynan of Fond du Lac (active warrant)
Eugene Jackson of Fond du Lac (in custody, $100,000 bond);
Taylor Retzleff of Fond du Lac (in custody, $250,000 bond).
“Three defendants have active arrest warrants and we are asking for the public’s assistance in locating them, as well as any additional information the public may have related to these defendants which might aid the investigation,” Toney said. “All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.”
Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group Project Director Jeremiah Winscher added his team remains diligent in positively impacting public safety throughout the Fox Valley.
“This joint investigation between LWAM, the city of Fond du Lac Police Department, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration – Green Bay Resident Office, the Wisconsin Department of Justice — Division of Criminal Investigation, as well as the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office, showcases law enforcement’s commitment in working together to hold offenders who chose to distribute dangerous drugs within our communities responsible for their criminal actions,” Winscher said.
““It’s important to note that at the same time our agencies are engaged in task force based multi-state drug investigations, our agencies also have sheriff’s deputies and police officers patrolling our streets 24/7 seeking out local drug traffickers,” Waldschmidt added. “It is not uncommon for these officers to make street-level drug arrests that grow into much larger drug task force investigations. Our agencies will continue to target drug traffickers of all kinds through both street-level enforcement and multi-jurisdictional task force enforcement, all in an effort to keep drugs out of our community and hold drug offenders accountable for their actions here.”
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Wesley Kottke and Toney.