Janesville46°

Brodhead teacher faces heroin charge

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Gina Duwe
Ted Sullivan
April 21, 2010
— A Brodhead Spanish teacher remains suspended after her arrest on suspicion of possessing heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone in a case that shows how the local heroin problem impacts all walks of life, officials said.

“Teachers are great people. Great people get caught up in problems,” Rock County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Strouse said. “It could be a doctor. It could be a lawyer.”


Katherine L. Mielke, 31, of 11436 N. Dondor Road, Edgerton, faces two felony charges of possession of narcotic drugs and one misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. She was ordered released on a signature bond Tuesday after appearing in Rock County Court.


She was told to have no contact with Brodhead High School staff or students.


High School Principal Lenny Lueck said Mielke teaches high school and eighth-grade Spanish. He said Mielke has been suspended pending an investigation.


Mielke started teaching in the district in fall 2004, Lueck said. He declined further comment.


Mielke was arrested at 4:39 p.m. Monday after investigators stopped her vehicle at Highway 11 and Roherty Road east of Footville, Strouse said.


Six packs of heroin, two oxycodone pills, eight hydrocodone pills and drug paraphernalia were found in her car, he said.


The Rock County Special Investigations Unit had been investigating Mielke for several weeks after receiving a tip that she was involved in drug activity, Strouse said.


Investigators don’t know if Mielke had drugs on school grounds, he said. They have no information indicating she sold drugs to students.


Educated people with good jobs, nice families and careers can get caught up in heroin, Strouse said.


“This used to be an inner-city problem,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with prescription medication.”


A former elementary school teacher in Walworth County also faces heroin-related charges accusing her of snorting the drug in a jail bathroom.


Katie M. Luessenhop, 27, formerly of Lake Geneva, was in jail after being sentenced in June on two charges of felony possession of heroin and one charge of felony bail jumping.


“Anytime you deal with heroin, it’s significant,” Strouse said. “It’s been a problem in the community.”


If convicted, Mielke faces up to seven years in prison and a $20,000 fine for the combined felony charges. She faces up to 30 days in the county jail and a $500 fine for the misdemeanor charge.


Mielke is scheduled to appear in Rock County Court on Wednesday, May 12.



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