On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ricky Saastad, 62 of Chetek, and Mike Wojciechowski, 37 of Chetek, in connection with the death of Mark Johnson.

Saastad is being held on felony charges of Maintaining a Drug House, Resisting and Obstructing for knowingly concealing items at the scene of the death.

Wojciechowski is being held on a probation violation along with charges of Resisting and Obstructing as party to the crime and theft for taking money from Johnson after he passed away.

Autopsy results indicated Mark Johnson died from natural causes at Saastad’s residence in Chetek sometime in the morning after a night of all three subjects smoking meth. Johnson’s deceased body was dragged to his car, money was taken from his person, then stuffed into the passenger seat of the car and Wojciechowski drove the car down the road and left it. Saastad raked out the drag marks and disposed of the drug evidence.

Both subjects are being held in the Barron County Jail awaiting formal charges by the Barron County District Attorney’s Office.

Per Chris Fitzgerald, Barron County Sheriff


August 7, 2017 -- On Sunday, August 6, 2017, at 8:00 a.m., the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call of a male passed out behind the wheel of a car on 25th St at 9 3⁄4 Ave north of Chetek.

Deputies from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department along with the Chetek Ambulance Service and First Responders responded to the scene.

When deputies arrived, they located a male subject deceased in the vehicle and he appeared to have been placed on the floor on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Sheriff’s Department Detectives were called to the scene and two subjects were questioned reference this suspicious death. This is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public.

The deceased was Mark E Johnson, 56 of Chetek.

At this time, the death is being ruled suspicious and we are awaiting autopsy results.

Per Chris Fitzgerald, Barron County Sheriff

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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