Two Tomah men were referred to the Monroe County District Attorney for drug charges after police responded to a report of a traffic accident Oct. 16 in the town of Tomah.
Police were dispatched to a one-vehicle crash on Hwy. 131. While en route to the crash location, police saw a northbound vehicle with front-end damage. The hood was open and blown backward, which obstructed the operator’s view of the windshield. Police pulled over the vehicle, which was driven by 31-year-old Steven Ham. The vehicle was towed, and police gave Ham a ride to a Hiawatha Avenue residence.
Ham went inside the house to summon the vehicle’s owner, 28-year-old Jordan Lee Smieja so that police could inform him of the crash. When the door was opened, police detected an overwhelming odor of marijuana and observed several marijuana grinders in plain view.
Police obtained a search warrant and returned to the residence Oct. 17. They were greeted by Smieja, who reportedly told police, “I’ll just give you my bag of weed. He told polic that he used marijuana to “self-medicate” but denied selling the drug..
A search allegedly found four marijuana plants approximately 20 inches tall in a flower pot with potting soil under an LED light. On a shelf nearby was a gray plastic bag containing branches and flowers cut from the plants.
Police also reportedly found two jars containing 110 grams of marijuana along with numerous items of paraphernalia, including a grinder that contained another four grams of marijuana. Police also found plant fertilizer and $985 in cash.
Smiega and Ham were both referred for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Smiega was also referred for manufacture of marijuana, maintaining a drug trafficking site and bail jumping.
In other Monroe County Sheriff’s Office news:
Kirk Matthew Austin-Henderson, 24, Westby, was referred to the district attorney for second-offense drunk driving.
Police responded to a report of a Sept. 23 traffic crash in the town of Portland shortly after 5 a.m. Austin-Henderson reportedly told police that he “dozed off a little bit.” When asked how much alcohol he consumed, he reportedly replied, “Not a whole lot but probably too much to be driving.” He also admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle, according to the report.
Police didn’t conduct a field sobriety test due to Austin-Henderson needing medical attention. A preliminary breath test recorded a blood-alcohol level of .10. He was also referred for possession of marijuana.
Daniel Leroy Paulsen, 61, Wilton, was referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a telephone.
According to the report, Paulsen called 911 multiple times and used abusive and profane language while talking to a dispatcher. He also behaved erratically at his village of Wilton home and resisted efforts of police officers to take him to the hospital. He was arrested Oct. 7 and transported to Sparta Mayo Clinic, where he reportedly yelled so loud that he could be heard four rooms away. The report says he directed racial and sexual comments toward hospital staff. He was later transported to Eau Claire Mayo Behavioral Health Clinic.
Sylir Emerson, 26, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for theft. She is accused of stealing a dress, Christmas decorations, two pairs of socks, 70 swim park passes and Lazer Maze tokens while employed at Three Bears Lodge in Warrens.
Todd R. Gray, 40, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for violating a restraining order. He allegedly tried to contact the subject of the order Sept. 20.
Scott Allen Gruender, 33, La Crosse, was referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct. He is accused of dropping his pants in front of other inmates while housed at the Monroe County Jail.
Kristopher Paul Manning, 23, Necedah, was referred to the district attorney for failing to report to jail. He was slated to begin a 48-hour sentence with Huber privileges Sept. 21.
Christopher R. Diehlmann, 31, Melrose, was referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct and battery by a prisoner. He is accused of hitting another prisoner in the face during an Oct. 9 altercation in the Monroe County Jail.
Christine Marie Zieler, 34, New Lisbon, was referred to the district attorney for drug charges after police responded to a report of a suspicious parked vehicle Oct. 19 in the town of Byron.
Police approached the vehicle parked at a Hwy. 21 address and identified the driver as Zieler, who told police they vehicle had run out of gas. The report says Zieler’s pupils were dilated. She denied a police request to search the vehicle.
Police summoned a K9 unit to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle. After the dog indicated a positive response for drugs, police searched the vehcile. A search of Zieler’s purse allegedly found a glass smoking device with burned residue, later identified as marijuana. Police also reportedly found a hypodermic needle with cap and a white plunger. Zieler told police the needle belonged to her boyfriend’s mother, who is diabetic.
The search found two more hypodermic needles with a white crystalline substance that police identified as methamphetamine and a plastic container with one gram of marijuana.
Zieler was referred for possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.
Danny R. Martin, 26, and Tremaine Wilson, 31, both of Chicago, were referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct. They are accused of getting into a fight Oct. 11 in the Monroe County Jail. Wilson allegedly struck Martin on the back of the head and was also referred for battery.
Raymond David Petska, 23, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping. He is accused of violating a bond condition that prohibits him from consuming alcohol. He was arrested at a Church Street residence in Norwalk Oct. 22. A preliminary breath test recorded a blood-alcohol level of .038.
Trevor S. Hagen, 38, Sparta, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping. He is accused of violating a bond condition that prohibits him from consuming alcohol. He was arrested Oct. 19 in the town of Leon, and a preliminary breath test recorded a blood-alcohol level of .321.
Paul M. Schwartz, 33, Norwalk, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping. He is accused of violating a bond condition that establishes a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.
Alvin Eugene Greengrass, 34, Black River Falls, was referred to the district attorney for operating after revocation/drunk driving-related. He was pulled over shortly before 9 p.m. Oct. 19 in the town of La Grange for a defective registration lamp.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.