Justin Baumgardt

A May 26, 2021, drug deal arranged by Barron County Sheriff’s investigators with the help of a confidential police informant has resulted in the seizure of four ounce of methamphetamine with an estimated “wholesale” value of $2,800 and the arrest of a Waupaca County man, according to a complaint filed Friday, May 28, 2021, in Barron County Circuit Court.

The defendant, Justin M. Baumgardt, of Waupaca, is being held in the Barron County Jail on $1,000 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing next Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

The complaint charges the defendant with possession of in excess of 50 grams of meth with intent to deliver, a felony carrying a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

According to the complaint, the informant had met the defendant while both were in the state prison system. During a May 3, 2021, meeting with a sheriff’s investigator, the informant alleged that the defendant had offered to sell meth in “quarter pound” quantities at $700 per ounce.

Further contacts between the informant and defendant from May 24 through 26 confirmed that the defendant was willing to drive to Barron to complete the deal.

The informant arranged for the delivery on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 26. Sheriff’s investigators staked out a location just east of Barron on May 26, and saw a car go past that was registered to a Waupaca County resident. One of the investigators positively identified the defendant as a passenger in the vehicle, the complaint said.

The car was stopped by officers in the 1400 block of East Division Avenue, where a man later identified as the defendant was taken into custody.

A K9 officer sniffed the vehicle and gave a positive sign for the presence of drugs. The vehicle was searched, and officers eventually found multiple bags of a substance which later tests showed was 117 grams (or just over four ounces) of meth.

For comparison’s sake, recent criminal complaints have indicated the going rate for one gram of meth is about $80 in Barron County, which would make the potential street value of the four-ounce shipment at well over $9,000.