Traffic Stop in Sawyer County Results in Seizure of Meth & Charges for 3 People

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |

Criminal charges have been filed against three people following a traffic stop on February 28, 2018, in Sawyer County.

A Deputy with the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office saw a white Chevy Lumina driving 45 miles per hour (mph) in a 35 mph zone with no rear license plate lamps. The Deputy stopped the Lumina which matched the description provided to law enforcement earlier that day of a vehicle which was suspected to be in the area for the purpose of dealing narcotics. 

Four people were in the Lumina, a female driver, identified as Krystin Tainter, and a female passenger in the front seat, identified as Cheryl Staples. In the rear seat were two men, identified as Neil Fleming and Keith Tainter.

Officers on the scene of the traffic stop observed that Neil and Keith appeared to be attempting to conceal something in the rear seat of the Lumina, according to a criminal complaint filed in Sawyer County Circuit Court against Neil Fleming. Officers instructed the two men to get out of the vehicle and due to their furtive activity, the men were temporarily detained and handcuffed.

In the rear of the vehicle, officers found a black scale, and an open pill bottle containing marijuana as well as 3 glass pipes of the type commonly used for smoking methamphetamine.

Officers also found multiple bags of McDonald’s food, including Happy Meals. According to the criminal complaint, during the process of being booked into the Sawyer County Jail, Neil allegedly stated that he was just trying to get home to his kids. 

When Krystin reached into her purse to retrieve her identification, officers could clearly see a large number of gem bags (known to be used in the packaging of controlled substances for distribution) inside her purse. When officers searched Krystin’s purse, they found 88 gem bags, and an unlabeled prescription pill bottle containing Gabapentin pills and capsules.

After officers detained Keith, while walking him over to a squad car, a hardcover eyeglass case fell out of Keith’s sweatshirt pocket. Inside of the case was a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue. Inside of Keith’s hat, officers found a straw with the ends melted shut. The straw contained methamphetamine. While Keith was being searched prior to being booked into the Sawyer County Jail, officers found 8 gem bags containing methamphetamine concealed near his waistline.

During the process of detaining Neil, a gem bag containing methamphetamine fell out of his right pant leg. The criminal complaint states that Neil looked down at the bag and said, “Yeah, there it is.”

A search of Cheryl’s purse revealed a gem bag containing methamphetamine. The total weight of methamphetamine seized during this traffic stop was nearly 20 grams.

Neil Fleming

Neil is charged with Class D Felony Possession With Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, Class I Felony Possession of THC (Marijuana), and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 

In another Sawyer County Circuit Court case, Neil is also charged with Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, and 2 counts of Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia from an incident that occurred on February 21, 2018. Details of this second case are not known to at this time.

At a bail bond hearing in Sawyer County Circuit Court on March 1, 2018, Neil was placed on a $5,000 cash bail bond. He is scheduled to appear again in April 2018.

Keith Tainter

Charges of Class E Felony Possess with Intent Amphetamine (greater than 3 grams, not more than 10 grams), and Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia are filed against Keith Sawyer County Circuit Court. The Court placed Keith on a $5,000 cash bail on March 2, 2018. He is due back in Court later this week.

Cheryl Staples

A charge of Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine is filed against Cheryl. She was placed on a $2,500 signature bond at a bail bond hearing on March 1, 2018 and is scheduled to appear again in April 2018.

Kyrstin Tainter

At this time could not locate any criminal charges against Krystin for this incident, however, online circuit court records show that in a separate case Krystin is charged with Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia from an incident occurring on February 21, 2018. Krystin also has two other criminal cases pending in Sawyer County Circuit Court charging her with Class I Felony Theft and Misdemeanor Retail Theft. Krystin is scheduled to appear later this week regarding her most recent charges.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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