TOWN OF BELOIT

A break-in at a town of Beloit home led police to raid the home last week on suspicion of drug dealing.

Garrett T. Heffel, 22, of 3203 Park Ave., was charged in Rock County Court last week with maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession with intent to deliver marijuana.

Both charges were enhanced with additional potential penalties because they are alleged to have happened on or near a scattered-site public housing project.

Officers executed a search warrant at the duplex where Heffel lives Wednesday and found about 3 ounces of marijuana in various bags as well as plastic packages with marijuana residue.

As previously reported, police had surrounded the same house the day before after receiving a report of a burglary in progress. They arrested a man leaving the residence, Tyler J. Wright, 29, of 4301 W. Sandale Drive, Beloit.

Wright was later charged with criminal damage and trespassing.

At the time of the arrest, officers “conducted a protective sweep” of the duplex, saw “numerous marijuana smoking devices” and noted a strong odor of burned marijuana emanating from the basement, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Officers got a search warrant, which they executed the next day.

Wright told officers he broke into the house because he has a “drug problem,” and officers believed Wright targeted the residence “due to its known nexus with illegal drug activity,” according to the affidavit.

Police also searched Wright’s 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche and found marijuana stems and seeds, a glass jar with marijuana residue and two plastic trays covered with marijuana residue, along with a digital scale, according to a search warrant return.

In addition to the marijuana, numerous zip-locking bags, a marijuana grinder, smoking devices and digital scales were found in a garage that had been converted into a gathering place, according to the criminal complaint charging Heffel.

Heffel also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Heffel told officers he buys marijuana more than once a week and sells it to five to 10 friends, according to the complaint.

A relative who lives with Heffel told police Heffel regularly smokes marijuana in the garage with a small group of friends and that she prefers they smoke at home because it is safe, according to the complaint.

Heffel also said he started smoking marijuana as a teen, and as he got older, he realized he could make money selling it, and things “got out of control fast,” according to the complaint.

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