A Chippewa County man faces up to 60 years in prison and/or $110,000 in fines in connection with felony drug charges stemming from a traffic stop Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, according to Barron County Circuit Court documents.
A complaint filed Aug. 9 identifies the defendant as Michael S. Randhawa-Johnson, 30, County Hwy. D, Cornell.
On the evening of Aug. 7, Rice Lake police got a tip that “a vehicle was traveling between known drug houses (in the city).”
An officer found the suspect vehicle and stopped it after it allegedly failed to signal a lane change, and because it “had a loud and/or modified exhaust.”
Several other officers arrived at the scene and a K9 sniff was conducted. The defendant initially denied there was anything illegal in the vehicle, but after the dog gave an alert, he allegedly said, “I’m not going to lie to you. There is marijuana and mushrooms in the trunk.”
Police searched the vehicle. In the trunk was a suitcase containing gallon-size plastic bags containing what later tests showed were three ounces of marijuana, 10 ounces of hallucinogenic mushrooms, 17 cartridges containing an 80 percent solution of THC oil, and sheets containing 420 individual hits of LSD.
The defendant was allegedly found to be carrying $1,070 in his wallet. Under questioning, the defendant allegedly admitted selling marijuana and marijuana-infused wax to Rice Lake buyers in exchange for $330 cash.
He also said he “fronted” LSD and mushrooms for a client and reimbursed the client after he sold the drugs.
According to court documents, Randhawa-Johnson lived in Barron when he was arrested during a warrant search of his LaSalle Avenue apartment in July 2014.
Among the items confiscated were two bags of marijuana, bags of a substance later identified as a combination of hashish and butane oil, and a hash oil manufacturing kit. In the complaint, prosecutors said that hash oil was “a new trend in extracting (the marijuana derivative) THC from plant material.”
At the time of his 2014 arrest, Randhawa-Johnson could have faced as much as six years and eight months behind bars and/or a fine of $12,000, court records said.
But he eventually pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Two other charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
The August 2019 arrest includes felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, manufacturing and/or delivering LSD, and manufacturing and/or delivering more than 500 grams of psilocin or psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms).
In addition to the prison terms associated with each count, Randhawa-Johnson could be sentenced to as many as 28 additional years in prison in connection with previous convictions in Eau Claire and Barron Counties, court records said.
Court records said the defendant is free on $500 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing this Friday, Aug. 16, 2019.