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WASHBURN COUNTY -- The Court has sentenced Shaun Johnson, the last of five people that were charged criminally following a series of storage unit burglaries in Washburn County.

Johnson was one of five people that received criminal charges following a lengthy law enforcement investigation into a series of storage unit burglaries that occurred in Washburn County in 2020.

Multiple units were burglarized in at least 7 storage unit facilities in Washburn County. Door handles and padlocks on the burglarized units had been cut and some had even been replaced.

Items reported stolen from the units included firearms, fishing equipment and supplies, hunting equipment and supplies, power tools, propane tanks, chainsaw, welders, generators, golf clubs, ice shack, ice auger, ladders, vehicle titles, birth certificates, photo albums, china, jewelry, and other collectibles.

Investigators identified the burglary suspects as Shaun Johnson, Sarah Kowarsch, Keith Velasco, Delayna York, and Samantha Okonek, and criminal charges were filed against all five.

Johnson was charged with 9 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling; Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; Misdemeanor Possession of THC; and 5 counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Class C Felony Possess with Intent Amphetamine (>50g), and Class H Felony Bail Jumping.

He appeared most recently in Washburn County Circuit Court on June 15, 2022, for a sentencing hearing on convictions for 2 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling, and Class C Felony Possess with Intent Amphetamine (>50g). The remaining charges filed against Johnson in Washburn County were dismissed but read in at a hearing in April 2022.

Johnson was previously sentenced in Burnett County Circuit Court on multiple felony cases and ordered to serve a 7-year imposed and stayed sentence for 1 count of Class F Felony Burglary Building-Dwelling (Party to a Crime) with 1 year of conditional jail time and 5 years of probation. Johnson also received a sentence of 1-year confinement in jail, to be served at the same time as his conditional jail for the burglary conviction, for a conviction of Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine (Party to a Crime). The remaining charges filed against him in Burnett County Circuit Court were dismissed but read in.


Sarah Kowarsch was recently ordered to serve a 5-year prison sentence on one conviction of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling with 2 years of initial confinement and 3 years of extended supervision and an additional 6 years of probation each on one more conviction for Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling and a conviction for Class F Felony Burglary of Building-Dwelling. Kowarsch is to serve her Washburn County sentences consecutively to the prison term she received for her Burnett County convictions.

Kowarsch was previously sentenced in Burnett County Circuit Court on multiple cases and ordered to serve two prison sentences at the same time: 3 years of initial confinement in state prison for one conviction of Class F Felony Burglary Building-Dwelling (Party to a Crime) and 1.5 years of confinement for a conviction of Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine (Party to a Crime). She will then serve 3 years of extended supervision.

Following the completion of these sentences, Kowarsch will start serving two imposed and stayed prison sentences for 9 years each on convictions in Burnett County for two counts of Class F Felony Burglary Building-Dwelling (Party to a Crime) and a 6-year imposed and stayed prison sentence on one count of Class H Felony Bail Jump with 5 years of probation. Should this probation be revoked, Kowarsch will face 5 years of additional confinement in state prison followed by 4 years of extended supervision. The remainder of the charges against her in Burnett County were dismissed but read in.

Delayna York was recently sentenced in Washburn County Circuit Court on two convictions of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling. Judge Winton ordered York to serve a withheld sentence with 4 years of probation on each conviction. The remaining charges against her were dismissed but read in.

In March 2022 the Court accepted a 3-year Deferred Conviction Agreement for Samantha Okonek for a charge of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling. Details of the conditions of the agreement are not listed in online court records. The Court also accepted Okonek’s plea of guilty to a charge of Misdemeanor Possession of THC, Party to a Crime, and ordered Okonek to serve 1 year of probation, maintain absolute sobriety, and pay costs. Okonek received credit for 2 days of confinement in jail already served, and 185 days of treatment completed. The remaining charges against her were dismissed but read in.

Keith Velasco was previously sentenced in January 2022 and received a 6-year imposed and stayed prison sentence on each of two convictions for Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling with 5 years of probation to be served concurrently. If Velasco’s probation should be revoked, he will face 3 years of initial confinement followed by 3 years of extended supervision. Velasco also received credit for 172 days of confinement in county jail. His remaining charges were dismissed but read in.


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