Three arrested after drugs, burglary tools found

A man and a woman, along with a Wisconsin defense attorney, were arrested on June 15 after a search of their car allegedly led to the discovery of drugs and burglary tools.

The three people arrested include attorney Jesse Jon Johansen, 45 of Duluth; Brandon William Farmer, 34, of Duluth; and Shannon Margaret Bissell, 35, of Cloquet.

Bissell and Farmer were both charged with fifth degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of burglary and theft tools. Johansen was arrested on those two charges as well, along with another, Drugs - 3rd Degree - Possess 50 or More Dosages Narcotic Mixture, which is a felony charge with a maximum charge of 20 years in prison. According to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation, Johansen’s license is currently suspended and he has a pending misconduct case.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Saturday, June 15, at 5:23 p.m., a Pine County deputy stopped to assist the three when their car was pulled over on the side of the road on County Road 61 near Bear Road in Hinckley. Farmer was driving the car, and told the deputy he was having issues with it. The deputy was told they were driving from North Branch to Duluth and pulled over due to the issues. He was asked why he stopped in an isolated area, rather than at a service station, and Farmer replied, “My father died last week.” The deputy noted that Farmer’s movements were jerky, and his speech was rapid, and based on his training and experience, believed he was under the influence of a controlled substance.

Farmer stated he did not have a driver’s license nor insurance. A deputy discovered there was also an active warrant for his arrest out of Hennepin County. While he was arrested, a hypodermic needle was found in his possession.

Other deputies arrived and one noticed Johansen was also acting suspicious since his hands were shaking and he would not make eye contact. He told deputies they were driving from Grand Casino Hinckley to Black Bear Casino, but the three were south of Grand Casino Hinckley. His driver’s license was canceled. During a pat search, a pill bottle containing 62 hydrocodone pills were found on him, along with a piece of tin foil which contained methamphetamine.

Bissell was then interviewed. Her license was also canceled, and a deputy observed fresh track marks on her arm.

The car was then searched. They found a glass vial containing a liquid emitting the odor of marijuana, a blue handled lock picking device, and a black hollowed-out pen with a crystalline residue inside that NIK tested positive for methamphetamine. Also found was a large piece of tinfoil containing suspected burnt heroin, a case containing several tools for picking locks, lock mechanisms, padlocks, and a door lock, a tourniquet and alcohol wipes, and a black leather case containing five glass vials of Naloxone (used to reverse the effects of controlled substances) and hypodermic needles.

Inside Bissell’s purse was a baggie which appeared to contain meth as well. The trunk was then searched and they found lock picking tools, five cell phones, a bolt cutter, and gloves, along with a 100-count box of hypodermic needles.

Both Farmer and Bissell have three prior felony controlled substance offenses on their record, while Johansen has a pending fifth degree possession of a controlled substance charge in St. Louis County.

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