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Rhinelander teacher in court for bond hearing on theft & drug charges

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- Bond has been set for a Rhinelander teacher arrested after a search warrant at his residence turned up alleged stolen property, prescription drugs and a marijuana grow.

35-year-old Joshua Juergens is charged with two felony counts of marijuana manufacturing and delivery, two misdemeanor theft charges from another case, along with having illegal pills and paraphernalia. Wednesday deputies executed a search warrant, finding items alleged to belong to the school district and drugs.

The criminal complaint says officers located 66 marijuana plants in Juergens' basement, and a Macbook Air valued at $1,900 that belongs to the school district in his backpack.  Juergens says the marijuana wasn't for sale, but was for "personal use and for his friends."  There were also three other laptops and tablet computers that either belonged to the school or to other people.

Thursday, a $500 signature bond was set on separate theft charges, but Friday's appearance was to have a new bond set. D.A. Mike Schiek felt a cash bond was needed, saying more evidence is coming in. In court, Schiek said, "Based on the seriousness of the offense and based on what we talked about yesterday and potential flight and not appearing at his initial court appearance, the state is asking to set a $1,500 cash bond."

Sitting in for Judge Michael Bloom, court official Kirk Reese asked Juergens about his ties to the area. Juergens said, "I've moved up here about a year ago. I used to live in Madison, Dane county." He added, "I don't know anybody up here at all." Reese took that into consideration for setting his bond as a possible flight risk. Schiek said other charges were likely.

Juergens is listed as an English teacher at Rhinelander high school. He will next be in court November 14.