Chippewa County drops all charges against man arrested for homic - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa County drops all charges against man arrested for homicide, drug offenses

Updated:
Suspect Shane Johnson. Suspect Shane Johnson.

UPDATE: All charges against Shane Johnson have been dismissed in Chippewa County.

Johnson was arrested on Thanksgiving for the overdose death of Nicholas Buck. During the investigation, Chippewa Falls police found large amounts of meth and heroin. 

He was facing six drug related felonies, and felony first degree reckless homicide.

Thursday the Chippewa County District Attorney's office dropped all charges. Officials said that's because federal policy states they cannot prosecute a case also being handled locally.
 
Authorities said Johnson was already being investigated federally before his arrest, and could face stiffer punishments in the federal system. 

News 18 reported Wednesday that Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Federal investigators believe he's tied with two other people in a conspiracy to distribute a large amount of drugs.

"One of the unusual things is that they sent the methamphetamine in a lab in, I believe Washington D.C., and they determined that this methamphetamine was very, very pure, high quality," said Assistant District Attorney Roy Gay. "Apparently the level of purity is like an enhancer, it will increase the sentence that can be imposed on Mr. Johnson.

Officials said he could be facing a minimum of ten years in federal prison. The federal court will not be prosecuting the first degree reckless homicide charge.

After sentencing at the federal level, Chippewa County could reopen its case. United States marshals are expected to take Johnson to Madison. 


November 2017
Chippewa Falls (WQOW)-
The two people involved in what Chippewa Falls police said could be one of their biggest drug busts in history were back in a Chippewa County courtroom Wednesday.

Shane Johnson and April Lonetree were arrested on Thanksgiving after police found 40-year-old Nicholas Buck dead in his home of a heroin overdose.

According to the criminal complaint, police were told by Buck's family to investigate Johnson. Police then found several different types of drugs at the home of Johnson and Lonetree.

Johnson is facing felonies including first degree reckless homicide, possession with intent to sell heroine, cocaine and amphetamines, among others. Lonetree is facing felony charges of possession of meth and maintaining a drug trafficking place, as well as misdemeanor child neglect charges.

The two appeared in custody Wednesday, bond continues for both of them. Johnson is held at $100,000, Lonetree a $2,500 signature cash bond.

Wednesday the court granted Lonetree to serve her time at an in-patient treatment center, after her attorney stated she has been showing physical signs of detox.

"We asked for the appearance today to get all the facts together. I think treatment is always a good option, and I will approve that modification," said Judge James Isaacson.

Lonetree is scheduled to be back in court in January for a review hearing. A preliminary hearing for Johnson is scheduled for December 7.


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) -  Over the Thanksgiving holiday the Chippewa Falls Police Department investigated the death of a Nicholas Buck. Police say the death is suspected to be the result of a heroin overdose and an arrest has been made of Shane Johnson, the man who allegedly supplied the drugs, for 1st degree reckless homicide as well as other drug charges.

Police Chief Matthew Kelm said in a news release, investigators were shocked by the sheer amount, and variety, of drugs located during the subsequent search warrant of Shane Johnson’s residence. Kelm said the investigation is still ongoing, but he wanted to put this information out Monday.

Johnson had his initial court appearance Monday and is being held on $100,000 cash bond. April Lonetree resides at the same apartment as Johnson and was also taken into custody, she is being held on $2,500 cash bond. Johnson's initial appearance is set for Wednesday, November 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Arrested Person(s)/Suspect Description:

Shane P. Johnson age 40

  • 1st Degree Reckless Homicide

  • Delivery of Heroin

  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm

  • Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver THC

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Designer Drugs (Steroids)

  • Possession of other Controlled Substance

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Investigation continues into potential charges of Reckless Endangerment of a Child

April J. Lonetree Age 38

  • Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place

  • Possession of Illegally Obtained Prescription

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine

  • Possession of Schedule III Controlled Substance

Investigation continues into potential charges of Reckless Endangerment of a Child.

On November 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm Chippewa Falls Police Department officers were dispatched to 1204 ½ Warren St for a report of a possible heroin overdose death at that location. An investigation was conducted and evidence on scene did point to a heroin overdose. The deceased was identified as a Nicholas J. Buck age 40. Officers developed cause to believe that the heroin was given to Nicholas Buck by a Shane Johnson.

The following day, November 23, a search warrant was executed at 16056 50th Ave, the residence of Shane Johnson and April Lonetree. A large amount of drugs and drug paraphernalia were located as a result of this search warrant. Items seized include (amounts are approximate):

  • ½ lb of Methamphetamine

  • 23 grams of Heroin

  • 21 grams of Cocaine

  • 1 lb of Marijuana

  • Over 100 bottles of suspected steroids

  • Over $5,000 in cash

  • 2 Pistols

Initial estimates put the estimated street value of the identified drugs at approximately $48,000. A large amount of powders and liquids suspected to be illegal drugs were also seized, but have not yet been identified. This is one of the largest drug seizures for the Chippewa Falls Police Department in recent history.

Shane Johnson was arrested and taken to jail on the morning of November 23. April Lonetree was located and taken into custody on November 24. Two small children also reside in the 16056 50th Ave address. Police have been working closely with the Chippewa County Department of Human Services and the children are in a safe location.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing, including potential charges for endangering the children.

We wish to express our sincere condolences to the family of Nicholas Buck for their loss. In speaking to the family they hope that their loss will help bring awareness to the deadly danger of heroin and addiction and hopefully prevent other families from losing their loved ones.

We also wish to express our thanks to the many agencies that assisted with this investigation over the holiday weekend including the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Chippewa County Sherriff’s Department, the Lake Hallie Police Department, the Chippewa County Department of Human Services, the Chippewa County Coroner, the Chippewa County District Attorney’s Office and the Chippewa Falls Police Department Chaplains Program.

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