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Police employee charged with keeping drug house placed on leave

April 19, 2010

A Wauwatosa Police Department desk clerk has been put on unpaid administrative leave following charges issued against her for operating a drug house in Milwaukee.

According to a criminal complaint:

Juanita Negrete, 30, was charged with keeping a drug house, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 3 1/2 years in prison. In addition, she was charged with possession of THC, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Police Department policy prohibits employees from unlawful conduct and misconduct that interferes with performing job duties, said Chief Barry Weber. Negrete is a civilian employee, meaning she is not a sworn officer, but the policy still applies.

The department's investigation will look into whether she used work time or equipment to accomplish any criminal activity, Weber said.

Negrete, and husband Armando Negrete - who has also been charged with keeping a drug house and drug possession with the intent to deliver - were arrested April 7 after Milwaukee County Circuit Court approved a narcotics search warrant for their home in the 3600 block of South 14th Street.

Officers saw the couple drive away from the home that morning and stopped them a few blocks away, according to the complaint. Negrete said she had small amount of marijuana in her purse, 1.03 grams, and a glass pipe.

A much larger stash of the drug was found in the Negrete's home. Sixteen bricks of marijuana were found in an ottoman and another nearly eight grams in the kitchen freezer. Total, more than 15 pounds of pot were seized.

The couple had set up a security system with cameras looking at the rear door and had a loaded .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver stuffed between their mattress and box spring. Armando Negrete had $990 in suspected drug proceeds in his possession.

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