WASHBURN COUNTY -- The Court has accepted a Deferred Conviction Agreement for Samantha Okonek, one of 5 people charged in a series of storage unit burglaries.

DrydenWire reported In April 2021 that charges were filed against 5 people in Washburn County Circuit Court following a lengthy investigation by law enforcement into a series of storage unit burglaries that occurred early 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.

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Okonek 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.

At a recent hearing in Washburn County Circuit Court, the Hon. Angeline Winton heard from Washburn County District Attorney Marcoux, and defense counsel for Okonek regarding a plea agreement to settle Okonek’s multiple court cases.

Judge Winton accepted a proposed 3-year Deferred Conviction Agreement on two of the charges of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling. Judge Winton also accepted Okonek’s plea of guilty to a charge of Misdemeanor Possession of THC, Party to a Crime. The remaining charges filed against Okonek were dismissed but read-in.

Details of the conditions of Okonek’s Deferred Conviction Agreement were not included in online court records. For her conviction of Misdemeanor Possession of THC, Okonek was sentenced to serve 1 year of probation, maintain absolute sobriety, and pay costs. Okonek received credit for 2 days confinement in jail already served, and 185 days of treatment completed.

Related: Washburn County Weekly Jail Bookings Report

Shaun Johnson is charged in Washburn County Circuit Court with 9 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling; Class I Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; Misdemeanor Possession of THC; 5 counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia filed;  and Class C Felony Possess with Intent Amphetamine (>50g), and Class H Felony Bail Jumping. Johnson is scheduled to appear again on March 14, 2022, regarding those charges.

A separate case filed in Burnett County Circuit Court had charged Johnson with multiple felony counts including burglary, possession of meth, and possession of burglarious tools. Johnson appeared in Burnett County Circuit Court on January 31, 2022, regarding those charges, and the Court ordered a 7 year imposed and stayed sentence for Johnson on a conviction 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 is charged in Washburn County Circuit Court with 9 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling, and 1 count of Class F Felony Burglary of Building-Dwelling filed against her in 10 different criminal complaints. She is scheduled to appear again on March 16, 2022.

Kowarsch is also charged in Barron County Circuit Court with 3 counts of Class F Felony Burglary Building-Dwelling (Party to a Crime) and she is scheduled to appear on March 16, 2022, on those charges.

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In two separate cases filed against Kowarsch in Burnett County Circuit Court she was facing multiple charges including burglary, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of burglarious tools. At a hearing in January 2022 the Court ordered her 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 serve 3 years of extended supervision following the completion of that sentence.

Additionally, Kowarsch received two imposed and stayed prison sentences for 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. She is to serve 5 years of probation on those convictions following the completion of her imposed sentence for the initial burglary conviction. 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 is charged in Washburn County Circuit Court with 9 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling, and Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer filed against her in 10 different complaints. She is scheduled to appear again on March 23, 2022.

Related: Washburn County Disposition And Warrant Status Reports

Keith Velasco was charged with 9 counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling and ultimately plead No Contest to two counts of Class F Felony Conspiracy to Commit Burglary of Building-Dwelling, with the remaining charges being dismissed but read in.

At a hearing in January 2022, Velasco received a 6-year imposed and stayed prison sentence on each of his two convictions 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 confinement in county jail.


Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Last Update: Mar 13, 2022 11:56 am CDT

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