Two of four people facing felony drug charges in connection with a Nov. 21 drug bust in Rhinelander have been bound over for trial.
Andrea D. Healy, 50, and Richard C. Nitschke, 52, made their initial court appearances Nov. 22 on identical charges of intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a minor (felony), possession of methamphetamine, manufacture or delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine precursors, knowingly possess methamphetamine waste and possession of THC (second+ offense).
The two, along with Antonio Alvarez, 43, and Darcy F. Sero, 31, were arrested after a Rhinelander police detective went to Healy and Nitschke's Margaret Street residence to follow up on an unrelated investigation, according to court documents.
When Sero opened the door of the residence, the detective reported he detected a strong odor of marijuana from inside.
Sero was detained outside the residence. Alvarez could be seen inside the home but would not come to the door, according to the police report. The detective spoke to Nitschke outside the rear of the residence at which time Nitschke claimed he did not have keys on him to get back inside.
The detective eventually forced the front door open and Alvarez and Healy were taken into custody.
Another Rhinelander police detective then obtained and executed a search warrant for the residence.
Some of the items located during the execution of the search warrant included numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia, marijuana, a substance believed to be manufactured methamphetamine and precursors for the manufacturing of meth, according to a Rhinelander Police Department press release.
Sero and Alvarez appeared before Oneida County circuit judge Michael Bloom Nov. 27. Sero was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and released on a $500 signature bond.
Alvarez was charged with two counts of purchasing pseudoephedrine for another with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He was released on a $7,500 signature bond.
Sero is due back in court Feb. 27 for a pre-trial conference.
Alvarez failed to appear at his adjourned initial appearance on Jan. 24 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant is still active, according to court records.
Healy appeared before Oneida County circuit judge Patrick O'Melia on Jan. 8 and waived her right to a preliminary hearing.
After assistant district attorney Mary Sowinski confirmed the felony information would contain the same charges, with the addition of the party to a crime modifier, the case moved to the arraignment stage.
After Healy stood mute on the charges, O'Melia entered not guilty pleas on her behalf. A pre-trial conference was scheduled for March 6.
Nitschke appeared before Bloom on Jan. 26 for his preliminary hearing at which time Rhinelander detective sergeant Kyle Parish testified as to what happened on Nov. 21. Before Parish testified, Bloom denied a motion filed by Nitschke's attorney Steve Richards to dismiss the charges.
After hearing the testimony, Bloom ruled there is probable cause to believe Nitschke committed a felony and set arraignment for Feb. 26.
Sowinski is also trying to reopen several 2015 cases against Nitschke in which he received deferred entry of judgments under a plea agreement. By stipulation between the state and the defense, Bloom adjourned making a decision on those cases while the current case is pending.
Both Healy and Nitschke remain in the Oneida County Jail.
Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.