A former jailer who allegedly brought oxycodone pills to the Douglas County Jail waived her preliminary hearing in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 14.
Laura L. Wickersham, 38, of Poplar, faces one felony charge of possession of narcotic drugs, with a modifier for possessing them at a jail.
Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec said Wickersham is no longer employed with Douglas County.
The pills were found in Wickersham's belongings after a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy reported seeing methamphetamine-related drug paraphernalia at her Poplar home during a personal visit March 12.
Wickersham, a jail sergeant, was asked to complete a drug screen prior to beginning work March 13, but she declined to submit a sample and was told she could not work her shift. At Wickersham's request, Jail Lt. Stacey Minter collected her belongings from the jail.
A prescription pill bottle with a partial label on it and the name and dosing information missing was found in Wickersham’s belongings, according to the criminal complaint. Inside were pills that a pharmacist identified as oxycodone. Other items found during the search included a transdermal patch labeled as containing marijuana; a compact mirror with a white powdery residue in it; a cut corner of a credit card; and a portion of a straw.
When questioned, Wickersham said the pills were not hers. She later texted Minter to say the pills were hers.
Court Commissioner Rebecca Lovejoy found probable cause to bind Wickersham over for formal charging June 7. A $500 signature bond was set and she was ordered not to use or possess a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia without a prescription. The case is being prosecuted by Bayfield County District Attorney Kimberly Lawton.
The possession of narcotic drugs charge, a Class I felony, is punishable by up to three and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
This story was updated at 8:08 a.m. April 15 with additional information on the prosecution of the case. It was originally posted at 6:02 p.m. April 14.