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Vilas County Court report PDF Print E-mail

Jury finds James Lacson guilty

for role in marijuana operation

By Ken Anderson

News Correspondent

A man involved in a marijuana growing operation in a rented house in the town of Lincoln  was found guilty of three felonies by a 12-person jury last Friday after a three-day trial in Vilas County Circuit Court.

James Lacson, 36, of Margate, Fla., faced charges of maintaining a drug-trafficking place, possession with intent to deliver tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) and criminal damage to property greater that $2,500.

Following the trial and verdict, substitute Judge Leon Stenz of Forest County revoked bond and he was taken into custody by the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department. No sentencing date has been set.

Vilas County District Attorney Al Moustakis called a number of witnesses during the trial, with his primary witness being Ramon Pineiro. Pineiro was taken into custody in a law enforcement raid at 1399 S. Farming Road in the town of Arbor Vitae last February. He described the grow operation at 2715 Whisky Trail in the town of Lincoln and the move to Arbor Vitae.

Defense Attorney Gary Cirilli attacked his testimony, classifying Pineiro as a career criminal and a career liar and alleging his testimony was tainted by a plea deal he made with the district attorney.

Cirilli also tried to convince the jury there was no evidence collected that tied his client to the Whiskey Trail home rented from Jim Will of Eagle River since no fingerprints or DNA was ever collected.

While executing a search warrant at the town Lincoln residence, officers found about 160 marijuana  plants in various rooms turned into growing chambers. In addition, an electrical box had apparently been jumped to reduce the electrical bill.

Pineiro pled guilty last April to three felony charges with three others being dismissed. His $20,000 cash bond was reduced to a $10,000 signature bond with a sentencing date of Oct. 4.

Moustakis claimed Lacson and Pineiro were partners in growing marijuana and needed another person to sell the product. That person is al­leged to be Kevin Shumake of Arbor Vitae, who has a trial date of Oct. 2-3.

According to the complaint, the defendants had the marijuana grow operation at the Whiskey Trail Road location from June 2010 to June 2011 and at the S. Farming Road from April 15, 2011, to Feb. 7, 2012.

In other felony cases, John A Price, 61, of St. Germain, charged with attempted stran­gulation/suffocation, misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct Feb. 26, and two counts of felony bail jumping, misdemeanor bail jumping and disorderly conduct July 23, had a pretrial conference set for Sept. 24 at 9:45 a.m. and a plea hearing set for Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m.

According to the complaint, Price was allegedly involved in an incident at Legends of the North bar in St. Germain July 23, first squealing his tires in the parking lot and then getting in a verbal argument with another man, resulting in a fight.

Walter C. Pappas, 47, of Lac du Flambeau was properly convicted of seventh-offense operated while intoxicated by a Vilas County jury Aug. 7, Judge Nielsen said last week during an oral ruling.

The defendant’s attorney, Brian Bennett, said the court should not consider the implied consent conviction from the events of Nov. 12, 1994.  Pappas will be sentenced Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

Samuel N. Vazquez, 31, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with manufacturing/delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and misdemeanor bail jumping, was bound over and entered a not guilty plea. A pretrial conference was set for Sept. 17 at 10:30 a.m.

According to the complaint, Vazquez allegedly sold three grams of marijuana to an informant during a controlled purchase between June 16 and June 18 in Lac du Flambeau.

Ronald P. Peterson III, 22, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with felony bail jumping, operating without a license, second offense in three years, and possession of synthetic cannabinoid, had a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. It was noted that other pending cases involving Peterson will be set for status on the same date. His $300 cash bond was continued.

Shane M. Chapman, 37, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with substantial battery, will have a preliminary hearing Oct. 21 at 1:45 p.m. It was noted Chapman doesn’t qualify for public defender representation. According to the complaint, Chapman allegedly struck another man, who was sleeping on the couch, in the face July 24 in Lac du Flambeau. Chapman had a preliminary breath test of 0.137% and told officers the reason he hit the man was because “it’s been building up.”

Susan S. Wolfe, 37, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with manufacture/delivery of non-narcotics, had an initial ap­pearance adjourned to Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. in Lac du Flambeau. Her $2,500 signature bond was continued with the condition that she possess no prescribed medications unless those prescribed by a doctor and in the container it was prescribed in. According to the complaint, Wolfe was caught on a surveillance tape at the Lake of the Torches Casino Feb. 12 allegedly selling Suboxone to another person.

Theodore E. Vetterneck, 42, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with delivery of schedule I?or II narcotics and possession of narcotics drugs, had a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m. According to the complaint, Vetterneck sold four oxymorphone pills for $80 in a controlled purchase June 26 in Lac du Flambeau.

Michael J. Poupart, 27, of Lac du Flambeau, who received a deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) on a charge of manufacture/delivery of marijuana March 25 and heard a motion to revoke the DEJ June 4, was back in court last week to learn a new petition was made to withdraw the motion to revoke the DEJ. Poupart also was convicted of possession of marijuana and served five days in the county jail. An additional 75 days in jail was added as a condition of his 12 months’ probation.

Robert M. Poupart, 42, of Minocqua, charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, had a preliminary hearing adjourned to Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. in Lac du Flambeau. According to the complaint, Lac du Flambeau Police Department officers were making a property check at 1169 Akiwensi Dr. in Lac du Flambeau March 15 and found the door open. A search of the residence re­vealed an AR 15 Bushmaster rifle in the house and Poupart is a convicted felon.

Melissa R. Ackley, 28, of Lac du Flambeau, charged with conspiracy to commit delivery of non-narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia July 26, and battery of prisoners and felony bail jumping Aug. 19, had a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m. According to the complaint, Ackley and another female inmate got in a fight in the Vilas County Jail  Aug. 19.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 3:12 PM

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