190614_TKEDRUGS

A Whitewater man was arrested on several drug charges after police served a search warrant at 1238 W. Main Street, an apartment building where TKE fraternity brothers live.

WHITEWATER

A fraternity at UW-Whitewater is still in good standing after police in May executed a search warrant at a building where members live and found more than 3 ounces of marijuana in one man’s apartment, university officials said Thursday.

Police said their investigation was limited to Kevin L. Abernathy, 21, of 1238 W. Main St., No. 8, and not others in the local chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, known as TKE.

Abernathy was charged June 3 with four counts of delivering marijuana and a single count each of maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of an illegally obtained prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He has pleaded not guilty, court records show.

Abernathy’s history with the fraternity was not immediately clear.

Jan Bilgen, associate director with UW-W’s career and leadership development office, said Abernathy was not currently a member of the fraternity. She said she was unsure if she could release his earlier status.

Photos online suggest he was a member at some point.

The fraternity’s Facebook page on May 1 posted a photo with Abernathy and others holding the group’s flag. Abernathy’s profile picture from Nov. 27 features the hashtag, “IAMTKE.”

A spokesperson for the fraternity’s national organization did not immediately respond to questions about his membership.

TKE at Whitewater has been in trouble before. Bilgen said the Iota Omicron chapter of TKE “has been recognized and in good standing since it’s re-colonization in 2015.” She said a conduct issue in March 2015 was related to alcohol.

UW-W spokeswoman Sara Kuhl said in a Thursday email, “The TKE fraternity remains in good standing.”

“And the event had no direct impact on the student organization,” she said.

Police with the Walworth County Drug Unit conducted controlled buys of marijuana and THC oil from Abernathy at “the TKE fraternity house” on March 31, April 14 and April 24, according to the criminal complaint.

Abernathy on May 6 also sold an informant 1 ounce of marijuana in a parking lot near 291 N. Fraternity Lane, the complaint states.

Police on May 9 executed a search warrant on Abernathy’s apartment and found more than 3 ounces of marijuana; drug paraphernalia; THC edibles, wax and oil; and 30 tablets of alprazolam, according to the complaint.

Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Hall, who oversees the drug unit, said Thursday that Abernathy was the focus of their investigation.

Abernathy is next set to appear in Walworth County Court at 1:15 p.m. July 19 for a status conference.