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SAUK COUNTY — Authorities say a Racine man who’s accused of providing cocaine to a man who overdosed and died in February 2018 was found with heroin in his possession at the Sauk County jail.

Matthew J. Halkowitz, 37, was previously charged in Racine County with first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of delivery of cocaine and delivery of schedule I or II narcotics — all as a party to a crime. In Sauk County he now additionally faces charges of felony drug possession and misdemeanor violation of institutional laws.

According to the Sauk County 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 heroin hidden inside the inmate’s anus.

Halkowitz reportedly told the deputy he found the baggie in a sub-dayroom and later told investigators he found it in the shower and was waiting for the right time to tell deputies. The inmate allegedly said he never used drugs, but was subjected to a urine analysis, and the results came back positive for opiates, according to the complaint.

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.”

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

A history with drugs

Halkowitz and Jana L. Mehevic, also of Racine, are charged with the same four felonies in connection with the death of a man at a residence on the 900 block of William Street in Racine on Feb. 18.

An autopsy indicated that the man’s death was caused by cocaine and fentanyl intoxication.

Investigators believes Halkowitz and Mehevic traveled to Milwaukee to purchase drugs for the victim and provided him with the substances that ultimately caused his death.

Three-day jury trials in both Halkowitz’s and Mehevic’s Racine County cases are set to begin at 1:30 p.m. March 19 at the Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., in Racine.

A pre-trial conference in the Sauk County case is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 1 at the Sauk County District Attorney’s office.

For the first-degree reckless homicide charge, both Mehevic and Halkowitz face a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

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.

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Caitlin Sievers of The Journal Times contributed to this report.

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Reporter

Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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