A Thanksgiving weekend fight between a man and three teenagers led to the arrests of all four and two other adults, resulting in an array of drug charges.
Joseph Rott Jr., 36, of Portage, appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court last Wednesday, charged with felony counts of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, maintaining a drug trafficking place, child abuse and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rott was arrested when a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a fight at the Portage Market Basket around 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25. At the scene, the officer found Rott, a 16-year-old from Portage and two 15-year-olds — one from Portage, the other from Reedsburg.
One of the 15-year-olds told the officer Rott attacked him when he realized the youth was trying to buy marijuana from him with two fake $100 bills. The teen called for help to pull Rott off of him.
Portage police officers searched Rott’s East Howard Street apartment, where they reportedly found four bags of marijuana weighing between about a quarter-ounce to just over 1.5 ounces. The bag that Rott had given to the 15-year-old weighed about two-thirds of an ounce.
During the apartment search, Lannenus Hutchins, 21, of Portage, knocked on the door, which was answered by a Portage police officer. Hutchins asked where Anna Johnston, 42, of Portage, and the children were, but the officer told her that he did not know.
The officer asked to see what was in Hutchins’ pocket, which turned out to be a cigarillo package containing a folded piece of paper that held about a gram of cocaine, leading to her arrest. She told officers she had received the cocaine from a third party and brought it over to give to Rott.
Hutchins appeared in court last Wednesday, charged with felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping. She was released on a $2,500 signature bond and ordered to appear in court Dec. 14 for a preliminary hearing.
Rott is being held on a $5,000 cash bond and is scheduled for a Dec. 7 preliminary hearing.
Johnston was located by authorities Sunday and taken into custody for violation of probation, with expected charges to include possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug dwelling.
The 15-year-old who attempted to purchase marijuana from Rott was arrested and taken to Dane County Secure Detention, referred to Health and Human Services for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, resisting an officer, battery, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The other 15-year-old was taken to Portage County Secure Detention, referred to Health and Human Services for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and two counts of contributing to a minor.
The 16-year-old also was taken to Portage County Secure Detention, where he was issued a referral for battery.