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June 17, 2019

5/23/2019 7:27:00 AM
Local teacher pleads not guilty to drug charges
River News Staff

A Rhinelander elementary school teacher entered not guilty pleas Monday to three separate drug charges.

According to online court records, Anthony Klein, 33, a fourth grade teacher at Central Intermediate School, plead not guilty to one count of possession of narcotic drug, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, Klein was arrested March 27 after a gas station clerk reported there was "a very lethargic male customer" in a vehicle outside the store.

When police arrived on scene they made contact with the customer, Klein, who explained that he was headed to a colleague's house "for work stuff." In the complaint, the officer investigating also described Klein as appearing drowsy and noted he responded slowly to commands.

Klein denied having had anything to drink but when asked about other substances he told the officer, "Well...I ...kinda took my prescription' speaking in a "very drawn out manner."

At that point, the officer asked Klein to step out of the vehicle and undergo field sobriety testing so the officer could determine if he was OK to drive.

After Klein failed the field sobriety tests, the officer placed him under arrest for suspicion of operating while intoxicated.

During a search pursuant to the arrest, officers found a prescription pill bottle containing a number of different pills on his person, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the pills included a Schedule II opioid narcotic as well as other controlled substances.

A pretrial conference in this case is set for 1:30 p.m. July 16.

If convicted of all charges, Klein faces a maximum of 4 1/2 years in prison.

According to the School District of Rhinelander website, Klein, who is free on a $500 signature bond, has been teaching in the Rhinelander district for six years. He was placed on administrative leave following the arrest.

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