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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A bench warrant has been issued for a 47-year-old Menomonie man found in a Colfax garage in August with methamphetamine, marijuana, gem Baggies and drug paraphernalia.
Steven O. Johnson failed to appear in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge James Peterson December 17 for a preliminary hearing.
In this particular case, 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.
Sergeant Todd Kurtzhals with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department and Colfax Police Chief William Anderson were in court for the preliminary hearing.
Johnson’s attorney, Samantha Richie, told the court she did not have any information on Johnson but that he did have a sentencing hearing in a Minnesota court.
Judge Peterson authorized a bench warrant for Johnson’s arrest and ordered bail to be forfeited to Dunn County.
A bail forfeiture hearing is scheduled for February 11, 2019.
Bail was set at $2,000 cash August 10, and bail was posted August 22, 2018.
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 in Colfax 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 not 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.
In separate cases, Johnson also is charged in Dunn County with felony counts of taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent; felony counts of manufacturing or delivering methamphetamine, maintaining a drug trafficking place and bail jumping; additional felony and misdemeanor counts of bail jumping; and a misdemeanor count of retail theft of less than $500.