Former EM man scheduled for trial on five drug-related felonies

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A 43-year-old former Elk Mound man now living in Wheeler is scheduled for a jury trial in May on five drug-related felonies.

Lonnie A. Eppers is charged with five felony counts of maintaining a drug trafficking place, manufacturing or delivering less than three grams of methamphetamine, manufacturing or delivering greater than three to ten grams of methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, felony bail jumping, and one misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia. 

Eppers is scheduled to appear in Dunn County Circuit Court for a motion hearing March 29.

According to the criminal complaint, Dunn County investigators arranged with a confidential informant to purchase methamphetamine from Eppers in August of 2016 at his residence at 220 South Holly Avenue in Elk Mound.

The confidential informant was given $100 in pre-recorded “buy money,” and the informant later identified the male subject on the audio recording as Eppers.  

After the sale was completed, investigators met with the informant, who turned over a “gem pack” that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

In September of 2016, the informant was given $300 in pre-recorded buy money and again went to 220 South Holly Avenue in Elk Mound where the informant again talked to Eppers, who allegedly agreed to sell an “eight ball” of methamphetamine to the informant. The package turned over to investigators again tested positive for methamphetamine, the complaint states.

Later on in September of 2016, investigators and other officers executed a search warrant at Eppers’ residence at 220 South Holly Avenue where several items of drug paraphernalia, such as a meth bong, digital scale, and a meth pipe, were located as well as suspected methamphetamine in different locations throughout the defendant’s room. 

When deputies searched Eppers, they found in his pocket a Grizzly Chewing tobacco tin containing 13 gem packs that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint. 

The felony bail jumping charge is the result of Eppers being arrested early in August of 2016 on a separate felony charge for which he posted a $500 cash bond and was released from custody. The bond in that case was still in effect in September of 2016 when Eppers was arrested on the additional drug charges. 

Judge James Peterson set a cash bail of $5,000 on September 26, 2016, and Eppers posted the cash bail on October 17, 2016.

According to on-line court records, Eppers moved from Elk Mound to Wheeler in November of 2016.

Eppers is scheduled for a final pre-trial hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court May 12.