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Area Police Finding More Fentanyl In Marijuana, Kenosha District Attorney, Judge Weak On Prosecution

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Tanner M. Fesko-Clausen, 26, of Kenosha
Table Full Of Evidence From Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Drug Bust
(Photos from Kenosha Sheriff)

According to the Center for Disease Control, Fentanyl overdoses have increased every year since 2012. Over a quarter of a million Americans have died from a fentanyl overdose since 2018. Kenosha is not immune to this trend. Fentanyl is killing people at an alarming rate. Until recently, if you avoided the hard stuff, you were mostly OK. Now, Fentanyl is appearing in almost every drug out there, including marijuana.

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Sgt. Colin Coultrip – Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

According to Sgt. Colin Coultrip, a spokesman for the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Fentanyl laced Marijuana is getting more commonplace. To test Marijuana for Fentanyl is very costly and is not always done unless there is a reasonable suspicion that it is laced. “As our community knows, KSD makes marijuana-related arrests almost daily. Some community members often complain and question why we are arresting people for a substance that is legal across state lines….this is one of the many reasons why. There are too many counterfeit producers that are lacing marijuana/THC products with fentanyl and then packing their goods to appear as if they were bought in a dispensary,” said Coultrip. “Also, marijuana/THC products remain the most fought-over street drug in our community. The number of fights, shootings, stabbings, and robberies that occur due to the street sale of marijuana/THC is far more common than any other drug in our community.”

Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Dave Smetana
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“For the casual marijuana smokers, they should be very concerned. My officers are finding Fentanyl in marijuana, but we don’t always test for it, so I can’t tell you for sure how often,” Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Dave Smetana told KCE.

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Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley (D)
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Although the police in our county are doing their jobs well, they often become extremely frustrated when they see serious fentanyl busts going through the court systems with no real consequences. KCE has spoken to area law enforcement officers who say they don’t even watch their cases during the court process, becuase they sometimes lose motivation to above and beyond when the prosecutors hand out misdemeanor plea deals like candy.

Tanner M. Fesko-Clausen, 26, of Kenosha
(Kenosha Sheriff)

For example, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy Bourdo pulled over 26-year-old Tanner M. Fesko-Clausen on June 10, 2023 in the town of Wheatland. His license plate was not properly visible. Apart from Fesko-Clausen, there were three other occupants in the vehicle. Bourdo smelled marijuana and pulled all of the occupants out of the vehicle. She had probable cause to search inside. Inside the vehicle, she found countless amounts and forms of marijuana, cocaine, fentanyl, empty counterfeit dispensary packaging, and a large amount of paraphernalia. She also found a (100) count container of 4×6 clear zip lock baggies with 57 baggies remaining, and a Crimson Max 100g digital scale. Hundreds of pills were also found inside the vehicle. Fesko-Clausen’s friends pointed at him when the Deputy asked to whom the drug belong to. Fesko-Clausen also admitted to being their owner. Of course, Deputy Bourdo knew that the combination of baggies, a scale, and a large amount of drugs was indicative of sale, rather than personal use.

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Digital Scale Found in Fesko-Clausen’s Vehicle
(Kenosha Sheriff)
Plastic Baggies Know For Being Used For Drug Sales Found in Fesko-Clausen’s Vehicle
(Kenosha Sheriff)
Marijuana Found in Fesko-Clausen’s Vehicle
(Kenosha Sheriff)

Deputy Bourdo reports while speaking to Fesko-Clausen later at the jail, the defendant asked if Deputy Bourdo “tested his weed”. Deputy Bourdo reports he advised it would be tested and it is common recently for “street weed” to contain traces of fentanyl. The defendant asked if the deputy would come back and notify him it was laced because he was concerned. Deputy Bourdo reports it was later found to contain Fentanyl and upon advised Fesko-Clausen he became visibly upset.

Test Showing Presence of Fentynal in Fesko-Clausen’s Marijuana
(Kenosha Sheriff)

Deputy Bourdo made expensive decision to test the marijuana for fentanyl and it came back positive. Like Sgt. Coultip told KCE, they test marijuana when there is a reasonable suspicion. The nervous prisoner tipped off the veteran Deputy by his conduct. The results of the test and the presence of the counterfeit dispensary bags leave a likelihood that Fesko-Clausen was going to sell weed laced with Fentanyl to unsuspecting marijuana users disguised as safe dispensary pot form Illinois. There was a chance he could have killed someone.

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For this reason, the Sheriff’s Department asked the District Attorney to charge Fesko-Clausen with serious felonies. The Kenosha DA’s office only charged Fesko-Clausen with one felony of Possession With Intent To Deliver THC, a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kenosha County Prosecutor Emily Gaertner (D)
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

One of DA Graveley’s more liberal prosecutors, Emily Gaertner (D), decided to dismiss the felony charge and the paraphernalia charge, allowing Fesko-Clausen to plead guilty to only two misdemeanors. Gaertner has a poor record at jury trial so likely wanted to plea this case out, as it is the easiest option.

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Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Jason Rossell
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Jason Rossell, who presided over Fesko-Clausen’s case not only accepted the plea deal, but gave him the lowest possible sentence under the law – $50 each for a total of a $100 fine, for attempting to sell Fentanyl-laced marijuana in counterfeit dispensary packaging to unsuspecting pot-heads.

At least one elected official, Alderman David Mau, thinks that legalizing marijuana would make smokers safer saying:

Kenosha Alderman David Mau Speaking WIth Kenosha DA Mike Graveley (D)
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“Any resistance to legitimizing the use of a harmless flower is essentially an endorsement of the fentanyl-laced black market, which is fueling overdoses and deaths in Kenosha at a rate I don’t think I’ve ever seen. There are now safe alternatives to these laced products in all three states around us. So stances that some aldermen, our police chief and mayor have taken are not only irresponsible and ignorant, they’re also deadly. Studies show that overdoses and opioid addiction decrease considerably in legalized states. Kenosha could be a shining example to the State to take action, but instead our leaders have chosen to believe long-debunked lies and maintain draconian laws against a medicinal plant. It makes you wonder why they are pandering to dealers – whether it be Big Pharma, or on our streets.”

You can watch the drug bust on the Deputies’ Body-Worn Cameras Below:

Deputy Bourdo BWC
Deputy Grigsby BWC
Deputy Souvannasing BWC 1 of 2
Deputy Souvannasing BWC 2 of 2
CDC

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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23 Responses

  1. OK. This one got away. That happens when the drug dealer is a good ol’ white boy from west of the I. But we more than make up for it when we put the screws to those black guys from the hood. We send them to Waupun.

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    1. Race has nothing to do with it, it is the backbone of our D.A. If anything Id say its the other way around!! But at the end of the day, they all end up back in jail. Cant fix stupid.

    2. Have you heard of Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm? Being black is an automatic ” get out of jail free” card.

      1. It takes them to kill someone to get some serious time and even on top of that some walk away with a joke a sentence. Maybe if there was harsher punishment people would think twice.

    3. Why is the North Chicago Va, KPD, SPD, highland park worried about what I discovered?
      Why did the Pepsi Trucks stop comming over to BH….whats in the Toyota….drop box shipments….?
      Torres come see me…bods…Vega….why you run off? Freindly….and fat ass from Jan 9th …same fat ass from may….why is China doing afternoon at the library?
      … my mother witnessed bricks being put in car by Christina….and what are all those keys in her possesion? Did you catch the pedophile ….or drug dealer? Oh it was oppsy…Karen didnt know the box wasnt touched Jan 08….not my fault….
      Why move operations near school….why are children being monitored on fms. …to include mine…and brass school?
      Why Saukeville police doing monitoring mules on fms…gsa_app version 12.34.3.12 ( fleet management ) could be ruining in your Google accessed services in your Google take out!

      Mathew come see me….

  2. Maybe we’ll have to wait until the prosecutors lose one of their kids to this harmless fentanyl. If they aren’t going to do their jobs, then that day will come soon.

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  3. The District Attorney’s office has had management problems for decades. Just about everyone who regularly deals with it knows it but nobody has ever sat down and had a serious discussion of what to do about it. Time, money and resources are blown on trivial cases while serious offenders sometimes skate because the staff is overwhelmed, underpaid and what not. Many prosecutors don’t live here. They are chained to their desks and seldom get out to meet the people they serve. It’s a miracle that they do as well as they do. There is room for improvement.

  4. Hope Kenosha enjoys becoming another Chicago storyline. Worthless prosecutors, wasting the good work of officers and detectives.

  5. My son being a cop in a Milwaukee suburb, along with his peers, inform me that they get zero support from the DA Office. There’s more energy on the part of the various DA Offices to undermine police work than to help.

  6. If we had a casino, he’d be happily shampooing rugs at 4:00 a.m. instead of making tons of money selling drugs.

  7. Gravely is a liberal clown . He’s just biding his time until he retires. Speaking of clowns , whatever happened to Rittenhouse prosecutor Tommy Binger ?

  8. Most cops and firemen vote dem to line their own pockets so what can we expect from our lib leaders.

  9. The Kenosha County DA’s office is a mess. Gravely should have resigned immediately after the Rittenhouse verdicts proved that charges should have never been filed.

  10. The DA does not have police officers back. They give criminals a slap on the wrist and send them on their way to commit more crimes.

  11. Don’t you think you lined your pockets enough with double dipping Smetana? You look so frickin old.

  12. Why is the fleet management service, gsa, Google and stolen t mobile numbers been added to KPD fleet management, highland park, Suakeville….Belgium…plus more…Lt “Rezzelman” of detective HQ you didnt give me the officers on duty DEC 31St 2022….and why kchc needs security for moving medical over to pillar health? Why does 1426 have access to kenoshas fleet management? Why Karen from pillar health hanging out by trap house on 24th and 61….? Ci’s are a ponzi scheme in Kenosha….1426 needs security escort home?…why are KPD officers ( the new Tahoe crew) working and escorting Chinese operatives into town ? May 2023.
    Why are KPD ” contacts” exposed in my maps? 1412 ” Alias location” in semantic timeline record?

    Mathew…told you to come see me…..

    Why does fleet management in keno deleting evidence against ci mule….?

    Come see Mathew….

    Whats Kansas city have to do with KPD…….why are my calls not going to cell towers….whats that microwave antenna on top of train station pizza place
    linking with detective cars and my accounts….

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