An inmate at the Rusk County jail is facing up to three and one-half years in prison in connection with his arrest at Chetek last June on a felony theft charge filed Nov. 30, 2021, in Barron County Circuit Court.

For defendant Nicholas D. Hamilton, 35, the Barron County case is the latest in a series of arrests and/or complaints filed earlier this year in Rusk, Eau Claire, Chippewa and Sawyer counties, in which he is facing charges that range from methamphetamine distribution and possession to bail jumping, as well as multiple misdemeanor and/or traffic-related offenses.

The Barron County complaint charges Hamilton in connection with the execution of a search warrant on June 28, 2021, at the home of a family member in Chetek.

Barron County Sheriff’s deputies conducted surveillance of the home an hour before executing the warrant. A deputy said he saw the defendant and another man pull up to the house in a pickup truck.

The officer watched while the defendant removed “a large amount of groceries and merchandise from the back of the truck.” Officers then converged on the scene and searched the truck, where they recovered a total of $755.99 worth of items allegedly stolen earlier that day from the Rice Lake Walmart.

Store officials said surveillance video allegedly showed the defendant in the store, selecting numerous items, placing them in a shopping cart, and leaving the store, allegedly without paying for anything.