SHELL LAKE– Nathan L. Camp, 28, of Shell Lake has been charged in Washburn County Circuit Court with strangulation and suffocation for allegedly trying to choke a person, stealing a firearm, and stealing 22 marijuana plants on or about November 2-7.
The charges of manufacturing more than 20 marijuana plants and possessing a firearm each potentially carry up to a 10-year prison sentence if he is convicted, and burglarizing an enclosed trailer to get those plants could net Camp 12 years in prison if convicted.
He also is charged with concealing stolen property, a misedeamonor.
According to the criminal complaint:
The alleged crimes came to light when a sheriff’s investigator had gone to pick Camp up because of a probation order. When the officer stopped to talk to a neighbor of Camp, the neighbor said a couple of places had been burglarized and suggested Camp might have been involved.
Another person who had rented to Camp alleged that Camp had stolen a revolver, marijuana plants, and other items.
As the officer was talking with the person, Camp was arrested in Shell Lake.
The investigator received consent to search specific structures, including garages, to check for stolen items, and during that search a shotgun was found with the serial number ground off and the gun sawed off, potentially by Camp.
A person who was helping Camp move from where he rented, and was evicted from (the home of the man referred to Victim #2, whose items had been stolen), told officers Camp was the main person putting items into a trailer, and he was unsure whether all of them actually belonged to Camp.
At one point the two men got into an argument, and that was when Camp allegedly grabbed him and choked him, the man said, making it a little hard to breathe and a little painful. He alleged that Camp had told him he took a .44 pistol and sold it to someone.
The investigator asked about the marijuana, and eventually, according to the criminal complaint, the man said he had helped Camp take the plants from the basement where Camp rented. Processed marijuana was found on the man’s property, and more was said to be on a third man’s property in Trego.
Officers found a camper on the third man’s property with a “strong odor of marijuana” coming from it and indications a grow operation could be inside.
When the officer received permission to check the camper, plants were growing there amid grow lights and fans. When the third man returned home to the property at the investigator’s request, he said Camp had set up the grow operation and the man could use some if he wanted. The man then acknowledged that he had helped Camp set up the grow.
Later, during an interrogation with Camp while in custody, Camp, after being read his rights and agreeing to speak, according to the criminal complaint, reportedly told officers that Victim #2 had grown marijuana for years and that Camp and Victim #2 agreed Camp would do a winter harvest of marijuana.
Camp said he germinated 60 plants and that for a time he had a “helper” with the operation. At 20 weeks, the plants were 3 or 4 feet tall in the basement, he said.
At some point Victim #2 became upset with Camp and told him to shut down the grow.
Asked about the revolver reportedly stolen from Victim #2, Camp said he did not take it.
Regarding the alleged choking, Camp said the man did not give him enough time to gather up his things when he was moving, and he grabbed the man by the waist, took him to the ground, and put his hand on his throat and said he needed his help with the moving.
Camp also accused the man of taking the marijuana plans (reportedly owned by Victim #2) from the trailer, not himself, saying he had watched the man do it.
Camp also admitted to helping the third man set up the grow operation at the camper on the man’s property, using the 22 plants moved there from the residence he rented from Victim #2.
Camp denied currently owning the sawed-off shotgun, saying he had given it away.
Camp previously had been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and a second or subsequent possession of marijuana.
A preliminary hearing is set for January 12.