By Jason Arndt
Editor

After four months, the Twin Lakes Police Department concluded five deaths from April 29 through June 19 were due to narcotic overdoses, a news release states.

In the five deaths, 10 received charges, the release said.

According to online court records, four of the 10 charged are from Illinois, including two from Chicago.

Twin Lakes police said the investigation involved several agencies, including some from out of state, and officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Agencies included the Kenosha Drug Operations Group, Milwaukee Branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Wisconsin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Kenosha Police Department and the Waukegan Police Department in Illinois.

Police Chief Adam Grosz said the charges, and coordination with other agencies, reflects the commitment his department has to reduce overdose deaths.

“I hope this will send a strong message that we are tired of seeing families in our community torn apart by heroin, and other synthetic opioids. We refuse to look the other way and say this is a problem only for the user,” Grosz states in the release. “We will aggressively seek out those distributing these substances, even if we have to go outside our community, our region, or even our state to find them.”

The message includes reporting problems with heroin before the Village Board, which authorized the purchase of a K9 unit using private donations from the community.

Additionally, Grosz credited Det. Katie Hall, who has been instrumental in leading village drug investigations since April.

“Detective Hall has dedicated hundreds of hours to identifying, locating, and ultimately taking off the street those responsible for distributing deadly drugs that have killed people in our community,” Grosz states. “These types of investigations take a great deal of time, dedication and perseverance.”

“Everyone at the Twin Lakes Police Department who was involved with this investigation worked hard and worked together. Detective Hall kept everything moving forward. I am proud of everyone who contributed..”

The work ethic was crucial, noting some of the deaths involved fentanyl, more potent than heroin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times stronger than heroin and a simple trace could lead to death.

With a more potent drug, Grosz said it is imperative to continue working towards prosecuting people responsible, including the five recent cases.

“The individuals selling heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids have no regard for the people they are supplying. They often sell these products under false pretenses, not revealing that the drugs they are selling contain deadly synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, in an effort to get the users addicted at any cost,” Grosz states.

In addition to a K9 unit, Twin Lakes police started carrying Narcan the week of June 23. Narcan is a drug designed to reverse overdose side effects.

The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office has issued charges related to the following deaths in Twin Lakes:

June 19 – Anthony B. Niccolai, 48, 2900 E. Lakeshore Drive
Cause of death: Acute mixed drug intoxication (fentanyl, heroin and ethanol)
Charged:
Reckless homicide, deliver heroin: Matthew S. Poyner, 28, Genoa City.
Reckless homicide, deliver heroin: Valerie A. Brooks, 34, Kenosha.
Reckless homicide, deliver heroin: Harold L. Wilcher, 52, Kenosha.
Wilcher, held since Sept. 7, was imposed a $75,000 bond. For Brooks, she has been in Kenosha County Jail since Aug. 21 on a probation hold.
Poyner, meanwhile, received a court summons.

For more information, see the Sept. 8 print edition of the Twin Lakes Report, which went to press before the press release was sent.

June 12 – Austin J. Lange, 22, 1717 Wilmot Ave.
Cause of death: Acute mixed drug intoxication (fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, cocaine and MDMA).
Charged:
Reckless homicide: Casey L. Myers, 32, St. Charles, Ill.
Reckless homicide: Austin R. Johnson, 29, Chicago.
An arrest warrant was issued for Myers and Johnson on Aug. 8.

May 24 – Rachael L. Guiliano, 35, 611 Rink Ave. No. 3
Cause of death: Acute heroin intoxication.
Charged:
Reckless homicide, deliver heroin: Michael H. Petersen, 29, Patch Grove.
Petersen has been held in Kenosha County Jail since Aug. 18, when court officials imposed a $50,000 bond, according to online jail records.

May 16 – Charles J. Smoody, 35, 337 Holy Hill Road No. 204
Cause of death: Acute heroin intoxication.
Charged:
Reckless homicide: Christopher O. Allen, 29, Chicago.
An arrest warrant was issued for Allen on July 31.

April 29 – Cody J. Lawrence, 25, 108 N. Lake Ave. No. 11
Cause of death: Acute mixed drug intoxication (acryl fentanyl, heroin, ethanol).
Charged:
Reckless homicide: Brian E. Morris, 34, Twin Lakes.
Reckless homicide: Ashley D. McGraw, 29, Twin Lakes.
Reckless homicide: Daniel D. Williams, 36, Waukegan.
While Morris and McGraw are held in Kenosha County Jail, according to online court records, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Williams on July 12.
Morris, online court records note, has an Oct. 19 final pre-trial appearance after he entered a not guilty at a May 10 preliminary hearing.
McGraw expects to enter a jury trial scheduled for Oct. 16 before Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge David Bastianelli.

 
 

3 Comments

  1. cecillia a niccolai says:

    Very proud of the Twin Lakes police department.

    Thank you

  2. Yvonne Warden says:

    Extremely happy to hear this. Time to make these heroin drug dealers accountable for their part. Twin Lakes PD also needs to start busting people in the Hut Motel in Twin Lakes nothing but herion users there. Keep up the amazing job.

  3. Toni says:

    Good job thanks for all your hard work. I have lost some children that I know fortunately my children have not messed with it but thank you

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