Four charged after Methamphetamine Lab uncovered in Berlin

On June 10 at about 1:54 a.m. the City of Berlin Police Department was involved in an investigation resulting in the discovery of a clandestine laboratory, which is common in the use of manufacturing Methamphetamine.

The investigation started late in the evening on June 9 when a Berlin Police Department patrol officer pulled over a driver for a seatbelt violation. While speaking to the driver the officer observed him to be very nervous with a sweaty, shiny face and shaky hands.

The officer knew a Green Lake County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Team were in the area and requested assistance at the scene while he processed the citation for the seatbelt violation.

While talking to the driver and the passenger of the vehicle a patrol officer witnessed the driver drop a metal object from his pocket. The officer seized the item and found it to be an object commonly used to heat up narcotics.

After the K-9 Team arrived they completed an open-air sniff of the vehicle and indicated on the car. A search of the vehicle resulted in the location of Methamphetamine and Methamphetamine Drug Paraphernalia.

The patrol officer and Green Lake Sheriff K-9 deputy continued to field interview the driver and the passenger of the vehicle. The interviews brought forward information about a methamphetamine cooking operation at home located at 135 S. Swetting Street in the City of Berlin.

At this time, the Berlin Police Department Investigator was summoned to assist the officers with the investigation at the home where the alleged Methamphetamine cooking operation was located.

A search of the residence exposed “one-pot” Meth-amphetamine cooking operations along with paraphernalia used to produce the controlled substance.
The Wisconsin De-partment of Justice Criminal Investigation Unit Special Agents were called to assist with the search and proper disposal of the potentially volatile chemicals used in the production of the meth. The City of Berlin Fire Department also stood by as DOJ processed the scene.

During the investigation, officers discovered young children lived in the home and were exposed to the meth production. The children were found and transported to a local hospital and Green Lake County Human Services was contacted to assist in the “Drug Endangered Children” investigation. Test results on the children found they were exposed to high levels of methamphetamine.

Initially the occupants of the home producing the meth were arrested on probation and parole violations and placed on holds by the Department of Corrections. The following charges have been referred to the Green Lake County District Attorney’s Office on the suspects:

• Russell G. Barton, 32, Fond du Lac: Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine Para-phernalia. Both charges carry a penalty enhancer for being within 1,000 feet of a park. Traffic citation for Failure to Wear a Seatbelt.

• Shawn D. Ellis, 43, Berlin: Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine Waste, Possession of Man-ufacturing Material for Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Pa-raphernalia to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining Drug Trafficking Place, two counts of Physical Abuse of a Child.

• Jennie Hetchler, 30, Berlin: Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Pos-session of Drug Paraphernalia, Maintaining a Drug Traf-ficking Place, two counts of Physical Abuse of a Child.

• Shannon L. McFarlin, 32, Ripon: Possession of Methamphetamine Para-phernalia, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Ellis and Hetchler are currently being held in the Green Lake County Jail on probation holds as they were on probation for a November 2014 arrest in Berlin where they were found to be operating a clandestine laboratory that was manufacturing methamphetamine with more than 40 “one-pot” devices.

“This was a great, good old fashion police work done by officers that night,” stated Berlin Police Captain Kevin Block in a release. “The Green Lake County Sheriff’s Department K-9’s are a tremendous addition to law enforcement in the area and have definitely proven their worth.”

Block added, “Substance abuse in our area is a major concern, and producing Methamphetamine with children present should be alarming to all citizens.”