Four arrested after meth lab bust in Berlin Wis.

Published: Jul. 6, 2017 at 3:40 PM CDT
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Four people are charged with possession of methamphetamine in Berlin; and two of them are charged with operating a meth lab and the physical abuse of a child for exposing children to the meth production.

Police say the investigation started on June 9 with a traffic stop because the driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

While speaking with the driver, the officer noticed he was very nervous, with a sweaty, shiny face and shaky hands.

The Green Lake County Sheriff's Department K9 unit was in the area and called in to assist. Police say after the police dog completed an open air sniff of the vehicle, methamphetamine drug paraphernalia was found.

After speaking with the driver and passenger, police learned about a methamphetamine cooking operation in the City of Berlin.

Investigators then went to the alleged meth lab on S. Swetting Street, where officers say they found a "one-pot" meth cooking operation along with drug paraphernalia used to produce meth.

Officers also discovered that young children lived in the home.

Authorities say test results on the children revealed they were exposed to high levels of methamphetamine. They were taken to a hospital, and Green Lake County Human Services was contacted to assist in the "Drug Endangered Children" investigation.

Shawn D. Ellis, 43, of Berlin, is charged with several counts related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and two counts of physical abuse of a child.

Jennie Hetchler, 30, of Berlin, is charged with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and two counts of physical abuse of a child.

Authorities say Ellis and Hetchler are being held in the Green Lake County Jail on probation holds. They were arrested in November 2014 when they were found to be operating a meth lab with more than 40 "one-pot" devices.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Criminal Investigation Unit Special Agents assisted in the search and proper disposal of the chemicals from the Swetting Street home.

"This was great old fashion police work done by officers that night," said Captain Kevin Block for the Berlin Police Department. "Substance abuse in our area is a major concern and producing methamphetamine with children present should be alarming to all our citizens."

Russell G. Barton, 32 of Fond du Lac has been charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia. He was also given a traffic citation for failure to wear a seatbelt.

Shannon McFarlin, 32 of Ripon has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.