Bennett board weighs liquor license after drug chargesA bar temporarily closed after law enforcement officers found a stolen gun and marijuana on premise could close for good.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A bar temporarily closed after law enforcement officers found a stolen gun and marijuana on premise could close for good.
The Bennett Town Board is holding a special hearing to consider nonrenewal of the liquor license for Wasko’s Campground Plus; the owner, Christopher Zoltak of Lake Nebagamon, is facing drug charges in Douglas County Circuit Court.
The town cited state law, which would disqualify Zoltak, 37, from holding a liquor license if he is “habitually being a law offender.”
Zoltak is facing arraignment on drug charges stemming from an April 23 compliance check conducted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Department of Revenue. When agents from the Department of Revenue and sheriff’s department officers arrived, an unlicensed bartender was on premise, but Zoltak wasn’t — a violation of state law.
According to a Douglas County Sheriff’s Department report, deputies and special agents from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue were conducting routine compliance inspections at a number of county taverns when about 70 grams marijuana was found inside a freezer at Wasko’s Campground Plus. In addition, a sheriff’s department detective discovered a stolen firearm. The law enforcement agents froze the premises, closed the bar and obtained a search warrant.
The search turned up 434 grams (15 ounces) of marijuana in a number of different spots as well as prescription pills, marijuana grinders, digital scales and illegal fireworks. The sheriff’s department also seized a number of guns kept in an office where most of the marijuana was found.
Zoltak told sheriff’s department Sgt. Jim Madden and Detective Cory Knutson that he smokes marijuana to help with medical issues. The tavern owner said he had never had a large quantity of the substance on hand until the night before, when a Twin Cities man stopped by to sell him half a pound of marijuana for $2,000. He said he buys the marijuana for personal use, but if he’s smoking it outside and someone asks for a puff of it, he gives them some. He also admitted to giving marijuana to friends.
Zoltak faces felony charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana and possession of narcotic drugs and misdemeanor charges of possession of an illegally obtained prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges and was bound over for arraignment June 5 after waiving a preliminary hearing June 5 in Douglas County Circuit Court. He is slated for arraignment July 22.
The board considers revoking Zoltak’s liquor license at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Bennett Town Hall.