More information this morning on the 3 Merrill men involved in the drug investigation from Langlade County. The Merrill school district has announced that Jay Peterson is on “Non-Disciplinary Administrative Paid Leave”. Peterson is a teacher at Prairie River Middle school in Merrill. In a Criminal complaint, Peterson admitted to smoking marijuana in April of 2011. He also said he picked up a bag of “dope” once or twice from his brother Scot Peterson, saying he would get a joint or a bowl during hunting.
In the same criminal complaint, former Merrill Athletic Director Peter Miller admitted to buying marijuana for the past 15 years and that he “smoked marijuana to get high”. This, according to Miller, happened when golfing at Bass Lake Golf Course near Antigo and other places.
The 3rd Merrill man, Anthony Crabb did NOT admit to using marijuana in the criminal complaint, he did admit to purchasing up to an ounce about every six months since about 2006. Miller said he’d gotten marijuana at Crabb’s Merrill house and smoked it there within the past six months to a year.
It’s important to note; while these 3 Merrill men have admitted to using or purchasing marijuana in the criminal complaint, no charges have been filed at this time, as the investigation continues.
Reaction from the Merrill community has been emotional. Merrill’s Mayor Bill Bialecki said, “It’s a sad day for everyone in the area,” but Bialecki was also quick to credit law enforcement for helping remove drugs from the streets in Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Antigo High School football coach and elementary principal John Lund was freed on a signature bond Monday afternoon -- and so were two other defendants charged in an alleged marijuana sales ring. The 47-year-old Lund and the others made their initial appearances in Langlade County Circuit Court on a total of 37 criminal charges. Lund -- who's one of five Antigo school employees on paid leave -- is charged with eight felonies that include maintaining a drug trafficking place, manufacturing and delivering marijuana, and possessing pot with the intent to deliver. He's due back in court February ninth, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial.
55-year-old Scot Peterson of Antigo was one of Lund's assistant football coaches -- and he retired as a special education teacher in June. He's charged with 26 counts, mostly felonies for delivering marijuana. Peterson waived his time limit for a preliminary hearing, and he's due back in court February sixth.
46-year-old Bradley Maahs of Wittenberg, Lund's brother-in-law, is charged with three felony counts of manufacturing pot. He amended charges filed today, and he's due back in court February sixth. Lund was one of five Antigo school employees put on paid administrative leave. The other four have not been charged, but they've been named in complaints against the three defendants. Authorities are continuing to investigate, and they say more charges are possible.