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Wisconsin Dells man accused of trafficking heroin from hotel room

December 25, 2018

Authorities say a Wisconsin Dells man used a hotel room at a local casino to traffic drugs.

The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 38-year-old Leobardo Vargas Jr. on Dec. 15 after finding him hiding behind a vending machine in the Ho-Chunk Casino hotel.

He’s been charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place, heroin possession, two counts of bail jumping and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

Investigators reported finding 19.1 grams of heroin in his hotel room with a street value of up to $10,000.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Sauk County District Attorney’s Office, a deputy was aware that Vargas had a warrant for his arrest on drug charges pending in Adams County and spotted a vehicle associated with him in the hotel’s parking lot.

Hotel staff pointed law enforcement to a room that had been checked out by someone else, but where Vargas was allegedly staying. Investigators then reviewed surveillance video to substantiate that Vargas had gone in and out of the room, according to the complaint.

Investigators then obtained a search warrant to go through the room. However, he was not there when they entered, the complaint states, kicking off a search for the suspect within the halls and stairwells of the hotel.

As they searched the hotel, investigators communicated with someone viewing hotel security cameras and allegedly learned that Vargas was hiding behind a vending machine on a different floor than the one on which his room was located.

Two officers approached the area, having been alerted that Vargas may have been armed with a pistol. One officer had his gun drawn and the other had a Taser at the ready, according to the complaint.

“After shouting for Vargas to come out several times, I heard him sigh from behind the vending machine and then saw his hands come out from behind the machine,” a detective reported.

Vargas has been jailed on a $5,000 cash bond and is due to appear in court Thursday.

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