Two people found in a car stopped for speeding in Rice Lake are facing felony charges related to alleged offenses in Barron and Wood counties, according to a complaint filed Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Barron County Circuit Court.
The defendants are identified as 25-year-old Jamie M. Pernsteiner, Otter Creek Apt. 4, Eau Claire, and 20-year-old Zachary L. Sager, 10701 W. Wis. Hwy. 48, Exeland.
They were arrested after what started out as a routine traffic stop for speeding shortly before midnight Sunday, Jan. 13.
There is a 15 mph speed limit on Main Street in Rice Lake, where a new bridge is being built over the Red Cedar River. On the night of Jan. 13, a Rice Lake officer clocked a vehicle doing 38 mph across the bridge.
He stopped the vehicle and spoke with three people, two of whom were later identified as the defendants. The third, who was driving the car at the time, was not charged in the criminal complaint.
At first, the female passenger refused to identify herself. But she wasn’t wearing a safety belt, so the officer ordered her out of the car to be identified so he could write her a ticket. She was later identified as defendant Pernsteiner.
Meanwhile, a second officer showed up. Police found a plastic bag on the floor of the car, near where the woman had been sitting. It contained a substance later identified as crystal meth.
Next to where defendant Sager was sitting, police found a backpack with two unused syringes, a rubber hose, a butane torch and a digital scale. There was also a grocery bag containing several plastic bags and syringes.
In another backpack, allegedly found near where defendant Pernsteiner was sitting, police found a used syringe and female clothing. At the time of the incident, defendant Pernsteiner was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant issued last September, when she allegedly failed to show up for a court hearing on a charge of meth possession in Wood County
She faces meth possession and bail jumping charges that could result in up to nine and one-half years in prison. Defendant Sager was charged with felony meth possession.