Commonwealth woman pleads to theft, felony drug charges


Staff Writer

FLORENCE, Wis. – A Commonwealth, Wis. woman accused of possessing illegal drugs in her home and stealing packages from the Spread Eagle, Wis. area has accepted a plea deal.

Stephanie Schuls, 37, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three felony counts of possession of narcotic drugs, three misdemeanor counts of theft of movable property, one misdemeanor count of receiving and concealing stolen property, one misdemeanor count of possession of an illegally obtained prescription, and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

In exchange for the pleas, Florence County District Attorney Douglas Drexler agreed to dismiss nine similar felony and misdemeanor counts.

Drexler and Schuls’ attorney Henry McRoberts agreed that a probation officer should complete a pre-sentence investigation report before Schuls is sentenced.

Unlike Michigan, Wisconsin does not require pre-sentence investigations for felony sentencings.

To allow time to complete the report, Judge Leon D. Stenz set sentencing in the matter for Jan. 21.

Schuls still faces a maximum penalty of 10 and a half years in prison.

Judge Stenz also decided to lower Schuls’ bond.

Schuls has been serving jail time on a probation violation, but she will complete that sentence on Dec. 11. McRoberts asked that her bonds of $10,000 in one case and $4,000 in the other case be reduced to signature bonds so she can be released after that date.

Drexler pointed out Schuls’ prior felony record and asked that her bond be revoked.

Judge Stenz felt that some cash bond was necessary, as Schuls faces prison time. However, he noted that Drexler waited nearly a year to charge Schuls with the felony drug charges and was not too concerned that she was out of jail during that time period.

Drexler explained that he waited for drug test results before charging Schuls.

Bond was set at $1,000 cash in both cases.

The charges against Schuls stem from two separate incidents.

In November 2012, deputies from the Florence County Sheriff’s Department had been investigating Schuls for theft and forgery. They conducted a search warrant on her residence and discovered traces of oxycodone, amphetamine, and morphine, as well as syringes, spoons with residue, smoking devices, stolen prescription drugs, and marijuana.

In July of this year, Schuls was accused of stealing packages from the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes area.

She was caught after deputies and a postal inspector placed a gift card in a bait package. Surveillance footage showed that she was at the Murphy gas station in Iron Mountain when the card was redeemed there.

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