State prisoner charged with having heroin in Sauk County jail

January 8, 2019

Authorities say they found heroin in the possession of a state inmate incarcerated at the Sauk County jail.

The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office on Monday charged Matthew J. Halkowitz, 36, of Racine, with felony drug possession and misdemeanor violation of institutional laws.

According to the criminal complaint, a deputy found a small rock of heroin wrapped in a piece of paper in Halkowitz’s sock during a Dec. 29 search of a jail pod. The inmate allegedly told the deputy he didn’t know what the substance was, and didn’t have anything else like it.

However, the complaint states the deputy later found a plastic baggie with 4.3 grams of rock and powdered heroin hidden inside the inmate’s anus.

“I asked Halkowitz what was in the bag, he shrugged his shoulders and said he did not know,” the deputy reported. “I asked where he got it and he said he picked it up off the floor in one of the sub-dayrooms last night.”

Halkowitz is a prisoner of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and is incarcerated at the county jail under a contract with the state.

The complaint says he later told investigators that he found the drugs in the shower and was aware that it was heroin because he tasted it. However, Halkowitz allegedly said he never used the drugs and was waiting for the right time to inform deputies.

Halkowitz was subjected to a urine analysis, and the results came back positive for opiates, according to the complaint.

Halkowitz was convicted of heroin possession in a 2013 Racine County case and received community supervision, but was sentenced to prison last year after his probation was revoked.

He faces multiple new felony charges in that county, including first-degree reckless homicide by delivering drugs and maintaining a drug trafficking place.

Sauk County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Lewis Lange said investigators believe the drugs were smuggled into the facility by a different person who was arrested several days prior.

“Having proof enough to charge that inmate is another matter,” he said. “Unfortunately, strip searches do not help when items are inside body cavities, which is why several jails in the state have purchased body scanners to try and combat this issue.”

Wisconsin Department of Corrections spokeswoman Clare Hendricks said the sheriff’s office is responsible for handling any criminal charges related to the incident. The DOC will handle any potential prison system conduct violations.

In court Monday, a judge set a $1,000 signature bond in Halkowitz’s case. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 12.

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