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Bail set at $2,000 cash for Menomonie man found in Colfax garage

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  Bail has been set at $2,000 cash for a 47-year-old Menomonie man found in a Colfax garage with methamphetamine, marijuana, gem Baggies and drug paraphernalia.

Steven O. Johnson made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge James Peterson August 10.

Johnson is charged with two felony counts of burglary to a building and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and two felony counts of bail jumping along with misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint, the Colfax Police Department received a call about a possible burglary at a home in the 600 block of East Railroad Avenue on August 7.

The Colfax officer spoke to the owners of the property who said their shed had been burglarized and that several items were not where they were supposed to be.

The property owner said he had checked the ground level of the shed and did not see anyone, but a ladder, which was not supposed to be there, was leaning up against the loft and there was a bag with a phone in it at the bottom of the ladder that did not belong to either of the property owners.

The Colfax police officer searched the loft and found a man, later identified as Johnson, who appeared to be sleeping.

When the officer announced his presence and asked Johnson to show his hands, the defendant sat up and seemed surprised a police officer was there, according to the complaint.

The Colfax officer advised Dunn County dispatch of the situation. When a Dunn County deputy arrived at the scene, he said a warrant was out for Johnson’s arrest and the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department had been attempting to locate him earlier in the day, the complaint states.

After Johnson came down out of the loft, he told the officers he could not remember how he got to the shed, did know where he was, and the last thing he remembered was being in Eau Claire.

The Colfax police officer reported Johnson seemed very groggy and had slightly slurred speech, according to the complaint.

After Johnson was placed under arrest, he told officers the overalls he was wearing were not his and said he had a pair of shorts on under the overalls. The overalls belonged to the father of one of the property owners, and the officers believed it was Johnson’s intent to steal them, the complaint states.

After Johnson was placed in the Colfax Police Department’s squad vehicle, the officers searched the bag found by the ladder. Inside the bag were a glass methamphetamine pipe, a digital scale and about one hundred small gem Baggies, a large amount of suspected methamphetamine and some suspected marijuana, according to the complaint.

Johnson told the officers he had brought the bag with him when he came to the residence and the phone inside the bag was his, but that he did not know anything about the others item or how they got into the bag, according to the complaint.

The suspected methamphetamine and marijuana tested positive, and the amount of methamphetamine was consistent with the distribution of methamphetamine and believed to be more than an amount for personal use, the complaint states.

Johnson was convicted of felony escape in Dunn County in June of 2017. He is currently under bond conditions for two Dunn County cases from earlier this year for a stolen vehicle and for possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the complaint.

Bail in the other two cases was set on March 5 and on July 17 of this year.

Johnson is scheduled for another court hearing on this case in Dunn County October 2.

At the time of the August 10 hearing, Johnson remained in custody. 

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