Traffic Stop Leads to 3 Charged in Heroin Trafficking and 2 Others with Maintaining a Drug House

Friday, November 24, 2017 | SawyerWire |

Two persons living on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation have been charged with a felony count of maintaining a drug trafficking place and face up to three years in prison on the charge and a fine not more than $10,000.

Cory DeMain and Angelina Houle have both been charged in Sawyer County Circuit Court, according to a criminal complaint filed on November 20.

Drug trafficking charges were filed on the same day against three other persons, Brian Melendez-Santiago and Robert Morgan, both of Milwaukee, and Andrew White of LCO. Melendez-Santiago and Morgan were both charged with delivery of heroin and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute while White was charged with delivery of heroin.

The charges against DeMain and Houle were the result of a search warrant executed at their residence at 12329 County Highway N in the Township of Couderay.

The search warrant at DeMain’s residence came as the result of a traffic stop in Hayward that led to the seizure of over a quarter-pound of heroin and two ounces of cocaine.

The criminal complaint stated on Monday, November 6, 2017 at approximately 2:37 p.m., a Sawyer County Sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop on a black 2004 Acura 4 door driven by Robert Morgan, with Brian Melendez-Santiago and Keishla Lozano-Martinez as passengers. The traffic stop took place on County B.

On a previous occasion, the deputy had stopped Morgan driving this vehicle alone in Sawyer County, at which time Morgan consented to a search and no drugs were found but Morgan had $2,900 cash in his possession.

On this new traffic stop, the deputy smelled marijuana and three other officers came to assist. They had the three occupants exit the vehicle, according to the complaint.

The complaint further stated a Sawyer County Detective responded to the scene and, “Conducted a post-Miranda field interview of Morgan, who said that he had brought Melendez-Santiago to the Hayward area and he knew there were drugs in the car. The Detective asked him what kind of drugs; Morgan said he didn’t want to say. The Detective asked Morgan to explain that since he was driving, it was his car, and he knew there was drugs in the car, how the drugs were not his. Morgan explained that Melendez-Santiago was wearing designer clothing, and the drugs were inside a backpack in the back seat, full of designer clothing. The Detective relayed this information to another deputy, who was conducting a search of the vehicle.”

The deputy found a chunk of compressed gray powder, suspected to be heroin, 119 grams total package weight, according to the complaint. Two other ziplock bags contained 19 and 21 knotted baggie corners with smaller amounts of heroin.

“There was a large knotted baggie of white powder, 56.6 grams of total package weight, suspected to be cocaine,” the complaint stated.

The deputy also located two small scales and sandwich baggies in the backpack, the complaint stated.

The deputy found $2,900 in cash in Melendez-Santiago’s pocket which he claimed was winnings from the casino.

DeMain interview

On Monday, November 6, Cory DeMain, 26, was interviewed after the search warrant was served at the residence where he lived with his girlfriend, Angelina Houle, and their two children. He was interviewed at the Sawyer County Jail, according to the complaint.

DeMain was told by detectives they knew a substantial amount of heroin was at his residence earlier in the day. Demain agreed to answer questions and make a statement. The following is a summary of information DeMain provided.

According to the complaint, DeMain was introduced to a black male from the Duluth-Superior area known as “Big D.”

“DeMain bought grams of heroin from Big D for $150 to $175 per gram. He bought up to one to three or four grams at a time, and estimated that he bought heroin from Big D on 10-15 occasions. DeMain said he used most of the heroin by snorting it; he didn’t smoke it or inject it. The last time he bought from Big D was a week ago; he bought three grams after he got out of ‘detox.’ DeMain admitted that he did provide heroin to others, but did not provide any names,” the complaint stated.

“DeMain admitted that people did come to his residence looking to buy heroin from him,” the complaint stated. DeMain named two individuals who came to his residence that day. “Demain said he was lying down and didn’t want to answer. Every time someone stopped by, Andrew White or another individual would answer the door, so others may have come also. People frequently came to his house looking to get heroin from him.”

DeMain said Andrew White got dropped off at his house the night before and described White as a light-skinned Native American about 27-29 years of age. He said White lived with his mother in New Post.

DeMain said White’s heroin source stopped by to see him and that White met him in the driveway. White said his source’s name was Robert (identified as Robert Morgan) and was from Chicago or Milwaukee, according to the complaint.

“DeMain said a couple weeks prior, White was at his residence when Morgan stopped by. DeMain said that the reason people came to his house looking for heroin was because he was a junkie and he knew where to find it. He admitted that he let people come to his house to sell heroin, and that he got high for free for letting them sell out of his house,” the complaint stated.

The detective asked DeMain why he had a digital scale at his house. “He said it was to make sure that he got what he paid for. The detective asked him why he had a gun,” the complaint said. DeMain named another individual who brought the gun over and left it. DeMain said the individual wanted to trade it for heroin, but DeMain claimed not to have given him any and he left the gun there. DeMain said he unloaded it to make it safe with children around. DeMain had no explanation for why the drug packaging seized from Morgan and Melendez-Santiago was consistent with the packaging materials found in his residence, according to the complaint.

“DeMain repeated that he was just a user, who did occasionally sell or share with others so that he could continue to get high. He did not know anything about the four ounces of heroin seized that day and have never seen so much heroin. He said he had been asking for someone to hook him up with a source like that, but had never made the connection,” according to the complaint.

Morgan Interview

On Monday, November 6, later that evening following the DeMain interview investigators conducted an interview with Robert Morgan, 40, at the Sawyer County jail.

Morgan provided the following information during his interview;

Morgan is from Cudahy, Wi and works as a mechanic at a car dealership. Morgan admitted he was in Hayward to “make a sale.” Morgan said he was driving his black Acura when he was stopped by the deputy. Morgan said he met Melendez-Santiago a year ago answering an ad for a personal mechanic. Morgan said he drove around Milwaukee with Melendez-Santiago while he sold heroin numerous times, according to the complaint.

“Morgan was asked to explain the type of “sale” he was making in the area that day. Morgan pointed to the holding cell where Cory DeMain was being held and identified Cory as one of the local heroin dealers in the area. Morgan said he knows Cory is a dealer because he has known him for about six months. He met Cory through Andrew White while doing heroin deals with White,” the complaint stated.

Morgan said he met White in Milwaukee at a concert. Morgan said White knows people on the LCO Reservation that use and sell heroin, the complaint stated. “White will determine how much heroin he and other people want and then White will call Morgan with his heroin order. Morgan, in turn, contacts Brian and tells him that White needs heroin. Brain will then contact White to determine how much heroin to bring to Sawyer County. Once that has been established Morgan will drive Brian up to Sawyer County to meet with White, and others, to sell them heroin. In return for driving, Brian gives Morgan free heroin so he can get high.”

Morgan said he drove him to Sawyer County on three occasions. He said they met White at his residence in New Post and have met at other houses on the reservation.

According to the complaint, on this particular trip they went through the same routine. Morgan said they booked a room at the LCO Casino hotel on Saturday night. On Sunday night around 9 or 10 pm, Morgan drove Brian and Keishla over to Cory’s house where they were supposed to meet White and give him the heroin. When they pulled into the driveway Morgan said there were about four or five other vehicles there. All three remained in the car and White came out of Cory’s house and jumped in their car. White was upset and told them Cory already bought heroin from another source that arrived from Chicago in a white car. Morgan observed a black male and a white female sitting in a white car with Illinois plates in Cory’s driveway. Morgan said he and Brian accepted that they missed out on the sale and they left Cory’s house with the heroin that Brian brought with.

Morgan said two weeks prior to this, they met with White and gave him heroin. Morgan said it was at a different location not too far from the casino. During that time, Morgan witnessed Brian hand White the heroin and White hand Brian the money. He was asked how much he thought Brian gave White, and Morgan gestured with his hands about the size of a golf ball, according to the complaint.

“Morgan admitted that on each of the three trips they met with White, they sold heroin to other people that White sends their way,” the complaint stated.

Morgan said on that day they made approximately three sales while parked in the casino parking lot. Morgan was asked how a typical sale goes down. He said White will take the order from the local customer; he then calls Brian or Morgan to tell them how much the customer is going to buy; Brian weights up the amount in the car; the customer meets them at the determined location; the customers give them the money and Brian gives them the heroin, according to the complaint.

White Interview

On Monday, November 13, detectives interviewed Andrew White who had been arrested on a separate warrant. White agreed to answer questions and make a statement.

White said he had been living at various places between Milwaukee, Chicago and LCO. He said about a month ago, he moved back to LCO and was staying at his mother’s house in New Post, according to the complaint.

White said his friend Morgan introduced him to Melendez-Santiago who offered to have White work for him selling heroin. He told White he would make money and get heroin for his use. Melendez-Santiago offered to front White heroin at a rate of $200 per gram. White agreed to the offer.

Later, Morgan came back and fronted White ten grams for $2,000, according to the complaint. White said they fronted him the same amount on another occasion.

“Prior to their arrest on November 6, Morgan called White and said they were coming up and asked if he needed anything. White gave Morgan DeMain’s address and they agreed to meet there. White said when they got there, he was unable to pay them $700 for the previously fronted heroin and they left without giving him anymore,” the complaint stated.

White admitted to receiving ten grams of heroin on two different occasions and sold about 7 grams of it each time while using the other three grams. According to the complaint, White would not give any names of who he sold the heroin too.

White is scheduled to appear in court on November 28 at 8:30 a.m.

Melendez-Santiago’s next appearance is November 29 at 3:30 and Morgan is the same day at 3:45. DeMain has a scheduling conference set for January 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. and Angelina Houle is set for December 19 at 8:30 a.m.

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.

***Previous Post***

Investigation into Heroin & Cocaine Trafficking in Sawyer Co. Leads to Multiple Arrests

Saturday, November 11, 2017 | SCSO l Press Release

On the evening of 11/06/17, Sawyer County Deputies, the Sawyer County Swat Team, Lac Court Oreilles Police Department Officers and WI DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation Agents executed a search warrant at 12329W County Highway N in the Township of Couderay. A 9mm handgun, drug paraphernalia and a digital scale were seized during the search of the residence.

Information leading to the search warrant was obtained during a cooperative investigation into heroin and cocaine trafficking in Sawyer County & on the LCO Reservation by Sawyer County Deputies, Lac Court Oreilles Police Officers, DCI Agents and City of Hayward Police Officers. During the investigation over One Quarter (1/4) Pound of Heroin and Two (2) Ounces of Cocaine were seized, in addition to the 9mm Handgun.

Three male suspects were taken into custody as a result of the investigation; Cory R. Demain, age 26 of the Township of Couderay, Brian A. Melendez Santiago, age 20 of Milwaukee, WI and Robert E. Morgan, age 40 of Cudahy, WI.

The results of the investigation have been forwarded to the Sawyer District Attorney’s Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office, the Lac Court Oreilles Police Department, the City of Hayward Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation continue our combined efforts in our mission to protect the citizens of Sawyer County.

Sheriff Doug Mrotek

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