Felony drug suspect arrested again while out on bond

Lindner given $500 cash bond for 2nd time after new charges
Tim Ryan

SHAWANO — A rural Shawano man who was free on bond in a pending felony drug case was arrested again early Tuesday after a fight with Shawano police.

Lee E. Lindner, 31, was first arrested July 31 after authorities executed a search warrant at his residence in the town of Richmond.

He was identified in a criminal complaint as “a large-scale supplier of illegal drugs in the Shawano County area.”

He was charged with multiple felony drug counts, including delivering methamphetamine, manufacture and delivery of marijuana and maintaining a drug trafficking place, all with the use of a dangerous weapon, as well as felony bail jumping.

The state requested a $25,000 cash bond for Lindner.

Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court Judge James Habeck instead set a $500 cash bond, along with a $4,500 signature bond.

Lindner posted that bond on Aug. 6, the day after his initial appearance. He had been free on that bond for one week before being arrested again.

Lindner appeared Tuesday via video hookup from Shawano County Jail on the new charges, including three felony counts of bail jumping and two misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer.

“Mr. Lindner placed a plastic baggie inside of his mouth and chewed it to try to obstruct officers from discovering what type of drug was in his system,” Assistant District Attorney Catharine White told the court.

The baggie could not be tested for any residue because of the damage done, according to the criminal complaint.

Police obtained a search warrant for a blood draw from Lindner at ThedaCare Medical Center.

“He did show all of the symptoms of intoxication by methamphetamines,” White said.

White, who detailed for the court Lindner’s previous convictions and other pending criminal matters, once again asked the court for a $25,000 cash bond.

Habeck once again imposed a $500 cash bond and a $4,500 signature bond.

According to court records, Lindner has previous misdemeanor convictions for battery, operating while intoxicated, resisting or obstructing an officer, criminal damage to property and bail jumping.

In addition to the felony drug charges filed two weeks ago, he is awaiting trial in a felony case on charges of strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment and intimidating a victim.

Habeck has previously recused himself from cases involving Lindner due to a conflict of interest, according to court records.

In a 2017 case, in which Lindner was charged with misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse-related battery and disorderly conduct, Habeck signed a recusal order which stated, “the undersigned judge has a conflict of interest wherein the Defendant’s family has a significant money relationship with said judge’s parents.”

In his recusal order, Habeck cited a state statute that requires a judge to disqualify himself or herself, “When a judge determines that, for any reason, he or she cannot, or it appears he or she cannot, act in an impartial manner.”

Habeck is not presiding over the new criminal case against Lindner or either of the pending criminal cases, which will be heard by Judge William Kussel Jr.

However, Habeck presided over Lindner’s initial court appearance in the drug case and the new charges filed this week and in both cases set the $500 cash bond.

According to the new criminal complaint, a Shawano police officer stopped Lindner and questioned him shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The officer recognized Lindner and knew he was out on bond in connection with the Richmond drug case, according to the criminal complaint.

Lindner told police he had just left the home of a friend, who police knew to be a user and distributor of illegal drugs, according to the complaint.

Lindner appeared nervous and had a substance or object on his upper lip that he tried to wipe away, the complaint states.

When a second officer arrived at the scene, Lindner fled.

The officers chased him down and Lindner resisted being taken into custody, according to the complaint. One of the officers received a minor injury during the struggle before Lindner was finally handcuffed.

Officers then discovered Lindner had a plastic baggie in his mouth that he eventually spat out and tried to rub into the ground with his foot, according to the criminal complaint.

Lindner is due back in court before Kussel for an adjourned initial appearance on Aug. 26 on the new charges.

He is also scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance Monday on the drug charges stemming from the Richmond search warrant. That hearing will also be before Kussel.

Lindner is also scheduled Dec. 10-11 for a jury trial in Kussel’s court in the felony domestic abuse case.