By Shereen Siewert

Prosecutors say a Milwaukee man arrested this week with a 2-year-old child and thousands of dollars worth of heroin in the vehicle was responsible for bringing more than three pounds of the drug to the Wausau area since 2017.

Cory D. Spencer, 22, was arrested near Wausau on Wednesday and booked in the Marathon County Jail. He faces charges filed Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court, two counts of possession of heroin with intent to deliver.

EMPD Chief Clay Schulz said the Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the Everest Metro Police Department and the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, made the arrest in an investigation where 78.36 grams of heroin was delivered to the Everest Metro area. The heroin was mixed with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.

But during an initial appearance on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Barnett told a judge that Spencer has been delivering heroin to the Wausau area for years, including drugs allegedly involved in several overdoses. Additional charges are possible, Barnett said.

Spencer’s attorney asked for a signature bond, pointing to his client’s lack of prior criminal charges. But Circuit Judge Greg Huber was not swayed and ordered Spencer held on a $50,000 cash bond.

At one point during the hearing, Spencer tried to speak to the judge, denying the drugs were his and insisting police were “putting pressure” on him. But Judge Huber muted Spencer’s microphone during the Zoom hearing before ordering the cash bond.

The 20-year-old woman who was in Spencer’s vehicle was allowed to return to Milwaukee with her child. Her name has not been released.

A preliminary hearing for Spencer is set for March 8.

The Central Wisconsin Narcotics Task Force is a federal task force operating out the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office and staffed by members of the FBI, Wisconsin DOJ, Wisconsin State Patrol, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Wausau Police Department, Everest Metro Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the National Guard.