Woman allegedly harbors felon, is arrested on crack sales charge

Janet M. Decono

JEFFERSON -- A 50-year-old Watertown woman is scheduled for a status conference in early September in Jefferson County Circuit Court on one count each of possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine near a park, harboring/aiding a felon, felony bail jumping and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charge of cocaine possession with intent to distribute stems from the March 15 arrest of Janet M. Decono, 50, of 508 Spring St., Apartment 3, Watertown, by the Watertown Police Department and Dodge County Sheriff's Department. Authorities say the crack had a street value of about $8,500.

The incident began with the Dodge County Sheriff's Department going to Decono's Spring Street apartment looking for Brian Bohn, who had active bench warrants for his arrest issued by Dodge County's probation and parole office, and the Dodge County Circuit Court. Bohn was wanted in Dodge County for his involvement in one count each of escape and a Class I felony charge of possession of narcotic drugs as a second or subsequent offense.

"Decono was previously warned that she could be charged with harboring a felon if Mr. Bohn was found within her residence," a criminal complaint in the matter stated.

At about noon on March 15, officers began loudly knocking on the apartment door of Decono's apartment. Decono answered the door, but refused to open it. The officers forced the door open and saw Bohn near a bedroom, along with Decono.

While arresting Bohn, a detective from the Watertown Police Department saw two glass smoking devices in plain view. Following a waiver of her constitutional rights, Decono gave consent for them to search her residence, the complaint stated. She admitted there were drugs that belonged to Bohn, in her home. She also admitted she knew Bohn had warrants for his arrest and that he was currently trying to avoid arrest by law enforcement. She stated she told Bohn to turn himself in to the police.

During a search of the residence, the Watertown detective saw Decono's purse on the kitchen counter. The purse contained the defendant's driver's license along with two sandwich bags, each of which held a large amount of a white chunky substance later confirmed by tests to contain cocaine. The purse also held a small notebook with handwritten notes of names and amounts of money next to them.

"Based on his training and experience, (the detective) recognized the substance to be consistent with the appearance of cocaine," the complaint stated. "The detective also recognized the ledger as a common tool used in the sale and distribution of controlled substances. During the search of the home, (another detective) located a digital scale in the bedroom that is commonly used to weigh and package controlled substances."

The first chunk containing cocaine weighed 37.7 grams and the other weighed 13.49 grams. Residue on the scale also tested positive for cocaine.

The complaint stated that crack cocaine is typically sold in $50-$100 amounts and approximately $50 of crack cocaine weighs .3 grams.

"If the 51.2 grams of cocaine in the defendant's possession were broken down into $50 and $100 increments for sale, the total value of the crack cocaine was approximately $8,500," the complaint stated, adding this is, "not consistent with an amount used for personal use."

The penalty enhancement on cocaine possession with intent to deliver charge was made because Decono's residence was within 418 feet of Veterans Memorial Park in Watertown.

The other charges of felony bail jumping and possession of drug paraphernalia originated in a March 26 contact Decono had with a detective from the Dodge County Sheriff's Department at her apartment.

"During this contact, (the detective) noted the defendant appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant or other controlled substance," the complaint stated. "The detective asked Decono if she was using any substances and she admitted she was depressed and turned to using (drugs) again to cope with her pain. The detective asked the defendant to turn over her pipe and the defendant went into her house and returned with a pipe. The pipe was described as being two inches long with black charring inside and a metal filter."

The pipe later tested positive for cocaine.

If convicted on all of the counts, Decono could be sentenced to a maximum of 49 years in prison and fined up to $125,000.

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