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News (Media Awareness Project) - US WI: Records: Coaches, Teacher Met at Golf Course to Deal
Title:US WI: Records: Coaches, Teacher Met at Golf Course to Deal
Published On:2012-01-29
Source:Wausau Daily Herald (WI)
Fetched On:2012-01-31 06:01:53

ANTIGO -- The court documents paint a shocking scene at a secluded
golf course carved out of the pines and oaks north of Antigo.

The records describe a group of men in their 40s and 50s regularly
meeting to buy, sell and smoke marijuana -- among them an elementary
school principal who also coached the varsity football team, a former
head football coach, a former athletic director and at least two
other school employees. Sometimes, cocaine was involved.

Witness statements in court documents stemming from a Langlade County
Sheriff's Department investigation indicate the Bass Lake Country
Club in the town of Upham was a hotbed of drug activity.

The investigation already has ensnared highly regarded leaders in the
Antigo and Merrill school districts. The Sheriff's Department expects
more people to face criminal charges by the time the probe is finished.

Bass Lake is closed for the winter, and general manager Dick Hilger
did not respond to a message left at his home. Hilger has not been
accused of a crime or any wrongdoing in the investigation. Langlade
County Sheriff Bill Greening also did not return messages to provide
further comment on the investigation.

For now, the only information about the extent of the scandal is
contained in criminal complaints.

Recreational activity

Antigo has a proud football tradition with three state championships.
Head coach John Lund, who was a linebacker on the 1983 championship
team, led the Red Robins to a 7-4 record and to the second round of
the Division 2 playoffs last season.

Lund, 47, also served as principal for two elementary schools in the
Antigo School District.

But based on his own statements to investigators, Lund led another
life off the field and outside the schools that contradicted the
anti-drug messages given to students.

In a Nov. 30 interview with a Langlade County sheriff's investigator,
Lund said his brother-in-law, Bradley Maahs, 46, of Wittenberg,
approached him in early November and offered to sell him marijuana,
according to a criminal complaint. Lund told the investigator that he
bought marijuana from Maahs three or four times in recent years.

Lund also admitted to buying and selling marijuana to Scot Peterson,
the 55-year-old former Antigo head football coach who was still on
Lund's coaching staff for the 2011 season, according to the complaint.

Lund, Peterson and Maahs all have been charged with drug crimes in
Langlade County Circuit Court.

Peterson, based on court records, was the supplier of marijuana for
about a dozen people, including his brother, Merrill school teacher
Jay Peterson, as well as retired Merrill athletic director Peter Miller.

Miller told investigators that he bought marijuana from Scot Peterson
for 15 years and often smoked when at Bass Lake, off Highway B about
18 miles north of Antigo. Jay Peterson and Miller have not been
charged with a crime.

"When golfing at Bass Lake Golf Course, it was normal for all the men
in the group of four to share marijuana, and that if (Miller) was
golfing at Bass Lake, he was smoking marijuana as a rule of thumb,"
the complaint reads.

Cocaine at the club

Michael J. Peterson, 45, of Bryant, claimed he bought cocaine at Bass
Lake 15 times in 2010 and five times in 2011 from a drug dealer from
the Milwaukee area by the name of John Hunter, according to the
complaint. Michael Peterson's relationship to Scot and Jay Peterson
was not described in the complaint.

Michael Peterson was charged Nov. 23 in Langlade County Circuit Court
with two counts of possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Hunter, who was arrested by authorities in Waukesha County,
"estimated selling cocaine three or four times a year to the Bass
Lake Country Club guys over the past three years, totaling about 18
to 24 deliveries of cocaine to the Bass Lake Country Club," according
to the complaint. The statement did not identify the buyers by name.

Hunter also was linked to selling marijuana to Scot Peterson,
according to police.

Hunter's status is not known. A drug investigator with the Waukesha
County Sheriff's Department did not respond to a message seeking information.

More to come

Police say that more people will face charges as the investigation progresses.

In the meantime, the Antigo and Merrill school districts are
continuing their own investigations.

Lund was placed Tuesday on unpaid leave, and four other Antigo School
District employees who admitted smoking or buying marijuana from Scot
Peterson, according to police, are on paid leave pending an
investigation by the district. Jay Peterson is on paid leave from the
Merrill school district.

The charges and accusations caught much of the Antigo community by
surprise, even those who deal professionally with local drug abuse.
Langlade County had been experiencing a decline in drug arrests, a 23
percent dip from 2009 to 2010, according to the most recent data from
the state.

Tanya Zaloudek, a substance abuse counselor for the Northcentral
Health Care Center in Antigo, said marijuana and prescription
painkiller abuse still is common in the Antigo area, much as it is in
other nearby communities. But she said Bass Lake Country Club is
well-regarded by the community and is not known for drug problems.

Zaloudek said she was shocked to hear the allegations.

"(Bass Lake) is out of sight from Antigo, on the outskirts," she
said. "The individuals must have thought they were out of the fray
and had less of a risk to see the consequences for their behavior."
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