4 arrested in monthslong investigation following heroin death

More than 50 guns, heroin, prescription drugs seized in drug searches, sheriff says
4 arrested in monthslong investigation following heroin death

Two men are charged with reckless homicide and two others were arrested following a monthslong drug investigation after the overdose death of a town of Dunkirk man, officials said.

Dane County sheriff’s spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said Tuesday afternoon that detectives began an investigation on July 4 when 25-year-old Dylan Nelson died of a heroin overdose at his home.

The investigation led detectives to 26-year-old Robbert Knipfer, of Stoughton, who reportedly sold Nelson heroin the day he died. The sheriff’s department said 25-year-old Cody Merkes, of Oregon, also allegedly sold Nelson heroin in the past.

The sheriff’s department said 22-year-old Devin L. Eisner was arrested during a domestic-related call to a home on the 2000 block of Door Creek Road in Stoughton on July 5. According to the report, officials searched the home and found large sums of cash, heroin and prescription drugs, which Eisner told detectives he bought from Merkes to reportedly re-sell.

Schaffer said deputies responded to another overdose in Stoughton on July 6. The 21-year-old man survived after he was given Narcan, a medication that reverses life-threatening effects of opiates.

The sheriff’s department said that investigation led them to 24-year-old Joseph Mayweathers, of Madison, who allegedly supplied Merkes with drugs.

A search at Merkes’ home on the 1000 block of Highway 14 resulted in the seizure of more than 50 guns, $4,600 cash, heroin, a “large” marijuana grow and more than 80 packets of suboxone, which is a medication used to treat opiate dependence. Other prescription drugs and paraphernalia were also seized during the search, according to the report. 

The sheriff’s department said Merkes was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession with intent to deliver a non-narcotic.

Schaffer said Merkes posted bail but continued to sell drugs despite his bail conditions, including six alleged sales to Dane County narcotics task force informants.

The sheriff’s department said after a traffic stop on Thursday, Merkes was arrested and a home in Brooklyn on the 100 block of North Rutland Avenue, where Merkes had reportedly been living, was searched. Merkes was charged with felony delivery of heroin and bail jumping and his bail was set at $10,000 Monday, Schaffer said.

Knipfer and Mayweathers were charged with first-degree reckless homicide and delivering drugs in connection with the death of Nelson. Schaffer said Eisner is being indicted federally on drug and weapons charges.