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Shawano man charged after leaving backpack with meth at library

Photo: Shawano County Jail
Photo: Shawano County Jail(WBAY)
Published: May. 8, 2019 at 10:23 AM CDT
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A Shawano man was arrested and charged after he went to the police department to claim a backpack containing meth that he left at the Shawano Library.

Joel Mullin-Romo, 31, is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine in Shawano County.

On May 6, police were called to the Shawano Library after a staffer found a backpack. It was partially unzipped and a white powder was visible.

Police looked inside the bag and found three small bags containing meth, clear glass nun chucks, and other items.

"Among all the personal items she found 1.9 grams of methamphetamine," says Shawano Police Chief Dan Mauel.

Later that day, Joel Mullin-Romo arrived at the police department to claim his lost backpack.

Chief Mauel says finding drugs is common, but it's pretty rare for people to show up to claim them.

"And most people won't show up and ask for it back if they know there's contraband in it, but this guy decided he wanted to get his meth back," says Chief Mauel.

Mullin-Romo told officers there was a "back story" to go with what was in the bag.

Mullin-Romo said his ex-girlfriend had "hacked his accounts, did a bunch of identity theft against him, is a drug dealer and a prostitute and tried to have him killed," reads a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News.

He said he had the nun chucks for protection against the ex-girlfriend who lives in Green Bay. He said he went to her home and got her phone and other "contraband" and put it in his backpack.

Mullin-Romo said he reported it to Green Bay Police, but had to take the matter into his own hands because they "did not do their job."

"Mullin-Romo stated all the items were from the [ex-girlfriend's] purse and there were receipts and some baggies," reads the complaint.

Mullin-Romo did admit that the nun chucks belong to him.

Mullin-Romo continued to insist that he was conducting his own investigation into his ex-girlfriend. He said he got her phone because he believed there was information on the phone that she "committed a homicide by contaminating the needle." Mullin-Romo told police that he went to the library with his mother to unlock the phone by using the Wi-Fi.

Investigators continued to ask why Mullin-Romo did not contact them about this. "Mullin-Romo stated he was doing his own investigation and was going to turn it all in and stated he was being forth coming and was telling me the truth," reads an officer's narrative in the complaint.

Mullin-Romo's story did change during the interview. Initially he said he found the meth in a phone case while he was in a car. Earlier, he told investigators that he found the drugs when he was at the ex-girlfriend's house in Green Bay.

"I told Mullin-Romo it was against the law to possess meth and he knew they were in his bag and left them in his backpack at a library where kids attend and made no attempt to turn them over to law enforcement as soon as he found them if that is what happened," reads the complaint.

"And there's children in that library and other people in that library that maybe, out the goodness of their heart, they would look through to see if there's a name in it and come in contact with that," Chief Maul says.

Mullin-Romo was placed under arrest. He "just kept saying that we were wrong and were arresting the wrong person. Mullin-Romo stated he was doing his own investigation," reads the complaint.

On May 7, Joel Mullin-Romo appeared before a judge via video from jail. Bond was set at $500.

Mullin-Romo was on probation for a previous Burglary conviction.