WASHBURN COUNTY -- Spooner Police Officers seized over 80 grams of heroin when they stopped a vehicle in Spooner, WI for not having working taillights.

A criminal complaint filed on October 30, 2020, states that on October 27, 2020, Spooner Police Officers stopped a vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 53 for having no working taillights.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Rapheal Norvell, of East Chicago, IN. Norvell told the Officers that he knew the taillights were out and that he had actually been pulled over 2 days prior for the same thing, according to the criminal complaint. 

Norvell allegedly went on to say that he had recently purchased the vehicle from someone in Duluth, MN and that he was returning to Duluth for the night because that same person was going to make repairs on the vehicle for free. The criminal complaint states that Norvell was not able to tell the Officers the name of the person that he bought the vehicle from. 

Officers issued a citation for the tail light violation and then asked Norvell for consent to search the vehicle. Norvell consented, and Officers found a black suitcase in the trunk of the vehicle. Inside the suitcase, Officers located a small black "digitZ" brand digital scale with marijuana residue; and a bag containing a brown powdery substance, which later field-tested positive for the presence of heroin and weighed 87.8 grams.

Norvell denied ownership of the bag of heroin and told the Officers that they had “planted” it, going on to say that he smokes and sells “weed” back home, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that after Norvell was taken to the Jail 6 capsules of Gabapentin were also found in the lining of his jacket.

Charges of Class C Felony Possession With Intent to Deliver Heroin (>50 grams); Misdemeanor Possession of Controlled Substance; and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia have been filed against Norvell. 

Online circuit court records show that at a bail bond hearing on October 19, 2020, Norvell was placed on a $10,000 cash bond. According to online county jail confinement records, Norvell remains in the custody of the Washburn County Jail as of November 5, 2020.

Norvell appeared on November 2, 2020 while in custody for an initial appearance on his criminal charges, and is scheduled to appear again in November 2020 for a preliminary examination hearing. 

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.


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