A Cornell man faces charges for distributing methamphetamine in the Eau Claire area.
Kevin J. Klein, 42, was charged Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court for several drug-related felonies, the most severe of those being possession with intent to deliver more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. The maximum penalty for that charge alone, if found guilty, is 40 years in prison.
Other charges include maintaining a drug trafficking place, cocaine possession, carrying a concealed knife, owning an electric weapon and drug paraphernalia possession.
According to the criminal complaint, the charges stem from a Nov. 5 surveillance operation outside a house on the 2300 block of Fourth Street in Eau Claire.
Eau Claire police spotted a known meth user, Morgan A. Moreno, 27, of Ellsworth, leaving the house and driving away in a car. After noticing unusual behavior and knowing Moreno had an active arrest warrant, police did a traffic stop after the car visited a local convenience store. A search revealed a small quantity of meth wrapped inside a sock that was hidden in the car.
Moreno told police that Klein sold her the drugs and that he had been staying at the Fourth Street house. Moreno has been charged with possession with intent to distribute meth, drug paraphernalia possession and carrying a concealed knife.
Using a search warrant, police found a backpack containing a half-pound of methamphetamine and small amounts of cocaine. Klein's wallet and ID were in the backpack, along with a Taser. When police arrested Klein during a traffic stop, he had a switchblade-style knife in the car.
During an interview with police, Klein admitted the backpack was his and that he'd been selling meth obtained from a source in St. Paul. He estimated that he'd sold 9 to 10 pounds of meth in the Eau Claire area in the past three weeks.