Men charged following discovery of stolen shotgun, prescription meds
James Kato-38 of Merrill and Michael Wiesman-36 of Hazelhurst, appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court Thursday, May 25 facing charges
stemming from an incident in the City of Merrill on the afternoon of May 24.
Kato faced Felony charges of Felon In Possession of a Firearm and Theft of Moveable Property-Special Facts while Wiesman faced a Felony charge of Theft-Movable Property-Special Facts and a Misdemeanor charge of Possession of Illegally Obtained Prescription Medication.
According to court records, officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at an east side store in the City of Merrill on the afternoon of May 24. Store staff reportedly indicated the vehicle had been in the parking lot for three hours prior to officer arrival and the vehicle’s occupants had entered the store several times without purchasing anything.
Upon arrival, officers made contact with the vehicle as well as the driver, identified as Wiesman, and his passenger, identified as Kato.
When speaking to Wiesman. an investigating officer noted he was in the process of “coming down” from Methamphetamine use. Wiesman reportedly indicated and Kato had been waiting for someone to bring money for fuel, so he could give Kato a ride to Tomahawk before proceeding to Hazelhurst.
The back of the truck the two were seated in reportedly contained several items which the men indicated “were mostly theirs” but denied taking any items from the store.
Following a consent search, a .410 shotgun was located inside the truck, behind where Kato was seated. Following a records check, the shotgun was discovered to have been reported stolen out of Taylor County.
Kato, who was found to be a convicted felon, reportedly denied ownership of the gun as did Wiesman.
Other items found in the vehicle included prescription medications, two gun scopes, an electronic tablet, a Cuckoo clock and a rubber “female sex doll”. High value items were reportedly confiscated for safe keeping while the other items were left in the vehicle.
Wiesman was released May 26 on $3,000 signature bond while Kato remains in the custody of the Lincoln County Jail on $500 cash bond.