Significant drug bust in Berlin, New London

NEW LONDON – Drug enforcement agents are calling a bust in Berlin and New London significant.

More than two pounds of cocaine and 18 pounds of marijuana were seized last week.

The pictures of the drug bust only tell part of the story.

“Even for this area, it’s a fairly significant seizure,” said Brad Dunlap, Lake Winnebago MEG Unit.

Law enforcement seized a kilogram of cocaine in Berlin.
Law enforcement seized a kilogram of cocaine in Berlin.

Investigators say Jose Fernandez was arrested by undercover agents in Berlin after agreeing to sell them a kilogram of cocaine for $36,000. His home was searched where local and state authorities say they found 18 pounds of high grade marijuana and $21,000 in cash.

Cortney Gulbrandsen lives next door to Fernandez. She says she wasn’t surprised when she saw investigators at the house.

“In the past there were some things that had happened, but I thought it had stopped, but I guess it was continuing,” said Gulbrandsen.

But both she and her neighbor across the street were surprised at the amount of drugs agents seized.

“Pretty surprised, especially when you hear that much, it’s just crazy, I mean wow,” said James Kelley of New London.

Brad Dunlap with the Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group says while significant, the impact of the bust may not last long.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it was going to make a long-term impact,” said Dunlap.

But he says what will make a long-term difference is disrupting the supply chain of drugs in Northeast Wisconsin.

“We have succeeded in driving the big business, the large scale profiteers underground,” said Dunlap.

Dunlap says the amount of cocaine recovered is unusual for our area, but he says the amount of marijuana in this bust is becoming all too commonly seen in Northeast Wisconsin.

New London police say they seized 18 pounds of marijuana. (New London Police Dept.)
New London police say they seized 18 pounds of marijuana. (New London Police Dept.)

“Millions of dollars of product, tens of thousands of plants that were grown on state lands, that is sort of the higher quality marijuana that is then being distributed, some here and some to other Midwestern states,” said Dunlap.

And while these drugs are off the street, it’s the drugs law enforcement doesn’t catch.

“There is a lot more out there than what we seize,” said Dunlap.

That has neighbors in small towns like New London concerned.

“I need to speak to my son, reiterate that drugs are something you cannot touch and you need to let an adult know,” said Gulbrandsen.

Fernandez has been charged with manufacturing and delivering cocaine. He’s facing up to 40 years in prison.

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