10 charged in $1M Fond du Lac County meth ring, 3 wanted

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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Law enforcement officials announced methamphetamine and fentanyl conspiracy charges against 10 people Thursday, Dec. 1, following an investigation that began in early 2022.

District Attorney Toney said the allegations involve distribution of over 100 pounds of meth in 2022, with a street value exceeding approximately $1 million, and "early stages of fentanyl distribution" in Fond du Lac County.

"There is no victory lap to be had today, as we will continue to aggressively investigate these conspiracy cases," said Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.

About 3.25 pounds of methamphetamine and 280 grams of fentanyl were seized during the investigation. 

"The fentanyl seized was enough to kill every resident of Fond du Lac County, which has an approximate population of 104,000," DA Toney said." 

"Our officers and deputies working in close cooperation with the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Group Drug Unit was vital to this investigation that prioritized," said Fond du Lac Police Chief Aaron Goldstein.

The following have been charged with conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, a class C felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000:

  • Melvin Kemp -- in custody
  • Julie Kurczek -- in custody
  • Samantha Nett -- in custody 
  • Jason Norton -- active warrant
  • Kyla Ott -- in custody
  • Dalton Wojkiewicz -- active warrant
  • Joshua Kerns -- in custody
  • Anthony Tynan -- active warrant
  • Eugene Jackson -- in custody
  • Taylor Retzleff -- in custody 

Three defendants have active arrest warrants, and we are asking for the public’s assistance in locating them as well as any additional information the public may have related to these defendants which might aid the investigation," District Attorney Toney said. "All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.”

"It really hurts because it kind of hits home knowing there's people you know that are so close," said Tammy Freund, mother of Jacob Starks.

Seeing the Fond du Lac arrests has made this a tough day for Freund. Three years ago, her son, Jacob, lost his life to fentanyl right here in Fond du Lac.

"And some of these kids went to school with him," said Freund. "He was my rock. You know, I was a single mom, but he always made sure you know, mom was ok."

Whoever supplied Jacob with a fatal dose of fentanyl was never arrested.

"And people, you know, you're just out for revenge," said Freund. "No, it's not a revenge thing. I just pray."

Those who lost loved ones to fentanyl poisoning hope the momentum for finding those handing it out continues.

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