EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The owner of an Eau Claire store on Water Street is accused of selling fentanyl and other drugs.
Duane Perkins, 42, of Eau Claire, owner of Drip Kickz, received 14 total charges Monday, including 12 felony charges, in Eau Claire County Circuit Court.
Perkins is charged with four counts of selling fentanyl, one count of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, one count of possession of MDMA and one count of possession of THC with intent to distribute, one count of maintaining a drug trafficking location, two counts of felon possession of a firearm, one count of 2nd degree reckless endangerment of security, one count of pointing a firearm at another person, one count of forgery and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to online court records. All drug possession or distribution charges have modifiers of being a second or subsequent offence.
According to the criminal complaint filed with the court, an investigator with the Eau Claire Police Department and Midwest Drug Task Force received information about a large-scale drug smuggling operation in the town of Clear water. Multiple tips to the task force said Drip Kickz owner Duane Perkins, also known as DJ, had been selling drugs out of the store for about a year. Some tips received by the task force indicated that Perkins was selling fentanyl.
One of the sources told the task force that in January, Perkins had a disagreement with one of its clients. The customer, a man, was unhappy with the quality of the fentanyl he received from Perkins, and it escalated to the point that Perkins pointed a gun at the man. A second source confirmed the incident.
Through the use of a confidential informant, the Task Force was able to videotape four different sales of fentanyl to the informant from February to March. Investigators arrested Perkins on April 21 and found four MDMA pills, one Xanax pill and marijuana. Inside Drip Kickz, investigators found a handgun under the cash register, THC, fentanyl, and a large number of counterfeit $100 bills.
Perkins initially told investigators he only sold small amounts of marijuana, but after receiving information about his fentanyl sales from an informant, Perkins said he helped people find fentanyl and other drugs. He also told investigators that he used fentanyl once or twice a month and sold fentanyl to support his own drug use. Perkins also told investigators he got heroin from a source in the Twin Cities, but reiterated that he helped people get what they needed. Regarding the gun, Perkins called it his “shop gun” and confirmed he pointed the gun at another person in January, and said the man he pointed it at Pointée had walked into his store was acting like a madman. Perkins told investigators he didn’t know he couldn’t have a firearm, but investigators noted that Perkins had previously been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Perkins is being held on $250,000 cash bond at the Eau Claire County Jail. If he posts bail, he must maintain absolute sobriety, comply with pretrial surveillance services, surrender his passport and remain in Eau Claire County if released, and have no contact with anyone. involved in illegal drug-related activities. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 3, according to online court records.
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