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Sussex man charged with operating meth lab

A 28-year-old Sussex man faces more than 30 years in prison after a police search of his residence turned up a methamphetamine lab.

Dale A. Saugstad, N67 W26658 Brandt Circle, was charged Friday, May 16, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with 10 counts of various drug-related offenses, including delivery of amphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of a controlled substance.

Saugstad had previously been convicted in both 2006 and 2007 of possession of THC with intent to deliver, in both instances receiving probation. He served two years in prison after his probation was revoked in the 2006 case. He has also been convicted of burglary, forgery and misdemeanor theft.

He faces 30 years and four months in prison and $72,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.

According to the criminal complaint, officers from the Waukesha County Metro Drug Unit executed a search warrant at Saugstad’s residence on Thursday, May 15.

Officers discovered a pharmaceutical cornucopia at his residence, the complaint states, recovering dozens of narcotic, amphetamine, and anti-anxiety pills, as well as 2.7 grams of marijuana. Investigators also found various items sometimes used to manufacture methamphetamine, including acetone, drain cleaner, camp fuel, and a substance described in the complaint as “white sludge.”

Saugstad told police in the complaint that he had been cooking methamphetamine every other day for about six months, though he had slowed production after his children moved in with him. He said he had learned his cooking method “down south” and, as far as he was aware, he was the only person manufacturing methamphetamine in the area.

He said he was also a heroin user and had sold heroin to support his addiction, the complaint states.

According to court records, Saugstad is being held in Waukesha County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 23. 

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