A multi-jurisdictional investigation into the December death of a Charlotte County resident led to the arrest of a Wisconsin man this month.
On December 26, 2017, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 447 Longley Drive (Port Charlotte) in reference to a twenty-five year old male not breathing. Deputies began performing CPR on the subject until Charlotte County Fire/EMS arrived. Life-saving measures were unsuccessful, and the subject was declared deceased at 2:33 PM. The subject was identified as Wyatt S. Cox.
Cox’s fiancée told deputies that on December 26, 2017, at approximately 2:15 PM, a United States Postal Service driver arrived and delivered a yellow envelope with postage due, addressed to Wyatt, along with two regular size white envelopes. After paying the postage due, Wyatt tucked the envelopes under his arm and said, “I have to use the bathroom.”
After two or three minutes, Cox exited the bathroom with the yellow envelope opened and its contents removed. The yellow envelope was from a company in Boscobel, Wisconsin. The envelope contained a prescription nasal spray bottle Cox said he ordered because his sinuses were acting up, due to mold he is exposed to at work. Shortly after exiting the bathroom, Cox was unresponsive.
On December 28, 2017, Detective Joe Scott with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit sent the nasal spray bottle to the FDLE lab for analysis. The initial lab analysis determined the nasal spray bottle contained a Fentanyl derivative unknown to FDLE. The Fentanyl derivative was ultimately identified as Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, 4.82 ± 0.15 grams. (Fentanyl Derivatives Class).
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) – (Madison, WI) and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) joined the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) to investigate the source of the Fentanyl. It was determined the Wisconsin-based business on the return address was not connected to Cox’s death. The USPIS was able to obtain label identification numbers, which revealed tracking numbers and, ultimately IP addresses, from individuals who tracked the package.
Using data from the analysis, inspectors found IP addresses used to track several of the parcels were linked to an Internet service at a suspect’s home. The subscriber of the IP address was identified as Michael Schoenmann (08/17/78) of Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
Surveillance was conducted over a two-week period, during which a Postal Inspector observed Schoenmann mailing multiple packages. These packages were recovered and opened, after being granted federal search warrants, resulting in the seizure of twelve (12) nasal spray containers containing liquid fluroroisobutyryl fentanyl (Fentanyl Derivatives Class).
On February 21, 2018, a Postal Inspector and members of Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit executed a search warrant on a subject who was receiving Fentanyl parcels from Schoenmann. This subject cooperated and law enforcement officials were able to take over the subject’s dark web account. This led to the USPIS converting buy money into bitcoins, and purchasing Fentanyl online from Shoenmann.
On March 6, 2018, agents were able to observe Schoenmann mailing the Fentanyl ordered by law enforcement and seized it. This led to a federal search warrant for Shoenmann’s residence.
On March 8, 2018, with the help of the DCI’s clandestine lab team, the search warrant was executed at Schoenmann’s home, resulting in the seizure of approximately 180 grams of powder Fentanyl. In addition, mailing labels, mailing packages, a tub in which Schoenmann was diluting the powder Fentanyl and bottling the liquid, hundreds of nasal spray containers and fraudulent nasal spray labels were seized. The labels and containers matched the label and container from the nasal spray container retrieved from Wyatt Cox’s pocket.
While law enforcement officials were on scene executing the search warrant, an envelope addressed to Shoenmann arrived via the USPS. The envelope was opened and found to contain an additional 15 grams of powdered Fentanyl.
Michael S. Schoenmann was arrested and held without bond after appearing in court on Monday, 03/12/18. Schoenmann could face up to 20 years in prison on the Fentanyl possession charge. Additional charges are expected.
Investigators will continue to gather intelligence from evidence seized at Shoenmann’s residence, with the ultimate goal of identifying Shoenmann’s source of Fentanyl supply, as well as well as contacting law enforcement agencies in all of the jurisdictions where Schoenmann shipped nasal spray containing Fentanyl.