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June 17, 2019

5/9/2019 7:27:00 AM
Alleged drug-trafficking place raided in St. Germain, four charged
Abigail Bostwick
of the Lakeland Times

Four arrests have been made out of St. Germain following an investigation by the Vilas Count Sheriff's Department related to a suspected drug house.

Timothy O Birchbauer, 40, and Rebecca Richter, 34, both of Leisure Lane in St. Germain, face multiple felonies as a result of the investigation. The two were sent to Vilas County Jail on $10,000 cash bonds after initial arrests. Also taken into custody in connection with the matter was Grace Barbolla, 23, Sayner, and Justin Sernovitz, 38, St. Germain.

According to court reports, sheriff's deputies responded to a call from Sernovitz's father around 2 p.m. April 2 reporting he was "whacked out on drugs" and that his girlfriend, Barbolla, was unconscious and possibly overdosed, at an Indian Trail residence in St. Germain. Indian Trail is where Sernovitz resides.

An officer found Barbolla slumped against a bed, "breathing but unconscious." He noted a syringe and bruising on her arms consistent with intravenous drug users and he administered nasal Narcan.

Observed in the room was white residue, syringes, Co2 cartridges, cotton as well as a strong odor of marijuana. A search warrant was obtained while the officer spoke with one of with the couple's children. Three other juveniles were present, two related to the couple. All children appeared in good health, but drug items were in easy reach of them, the officer observed.

Sernovitz kept falling asleep while being interviewed. He admitted to doing drugs and noted he thought Barbolla was under the influence of heroin. It was indicated Barbolla had been staying at the residence with him for a few weeks.

Child protective services was contacted and the children were removed while Sernovitz was taken to jail, and Barbolla by ambulance to the hospital, court reports note. Barbolla was later arrested.

Recovered after the search warrant were syringes with brown and clear liquids inside, pipes, used/uncapped needles, white/brown rock-like residue inside a bag, cellular devices, more than $700 in cash, foil with a green leafy substance, paper with powdery residue, homemade bong, tie-offs, picks and more drug-related paraphernalia.

A few days later on April 25 just before 6 a.m., a "no-knock" warrant was served at Birchbauer and Richter's house on Leisure Lane in St. Germain by 15 members of the Vilas County Sheriff's Department. Also assisting were the Lac du Flambeau and Eagle River police departments.

One deputy handled traffic control. That deputy observed a female run past a window as they were about to make entry. Inside were Birchbauer, Richter, Barbolla and Richter's daughter.

Recovered was a firearm, ammunition, a security system wired into the bedroom, a dash camera in a car and locked safes. Drug ledgers and other papers documenting drug activity - with names, weights of items sold and amounts paid - were found as well as on media devices including cellphones, MP3 players and computers with information. Also recovered was marijuana, marijuana seeds, plant material, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, prescription medications, synthetic substances, various pipes and other smoking devices, baggies, scales, screens, and spoons. Birchbauer had more than $800 on himself.

Birchbauer has been charged with felony possession of a firearm as a felon and possession with intent of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver narcotics and maintaining a drug trafficking place as party to a crime, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor possession of an illegally obtained prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia and neglecting a child, all as party to crime.

Charges against Richter include felony possession with intent cocaine, possession with intent to deliver narcotics and maintaining a drug trafficking place, all as party to a crime and a repeat offender. Misdemeanors she faces include possession of an illegally obtained prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia and neglecting a child, also all as party to a crime and as a repeat offender.

Barbolla is charged with two counts of possession of narcotic drugs, possession of methamphetamine, possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia all as felonies and as party to a crime. Sernovitz faces the same charges, including an extra count of possession of THC.

Servonitz is charged with two counts of possession of narcotic drugs, possession of methamphetamine, second offense possession THC and possession of drug paraphernalia, all as party to a crime.

In court Monday, Birchbauer's $10,000 cash bond was amended to $5,000 cash with the conditions of no contact with Barbolla or a child, maintain absolute sobriety, follow all directives of social services and adhere to a curfew.

Also in court Monday, Richter was issued a $2,000 cash bond with conditions of no contact at Leisure Lane and a curfew.

Barbolla's earlier May appearance found she does not qualify for a public defender, but the court allowed her to acquire one with the agreement to pay back the expense. An amended bond included sobriety, not to be on Indian Trail, no contact with the defendants and a curfew.

Servonitz is on a $500 cash bond and must not have contact with Birchbauer or Barbolla, stay sober and comply with social services. He waived his preliminary hearing and will be seen in court for a pre-trial hearing in June.

Birchbauer, Richter and Barbolla will be in court again May 13 for adjourned initial appearances.

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