ANTIGO (WAOW) - All state charges against an Antigo man described by Langlade County authorities as the leader of a drug ring that included some central Wisconsin educators were dismissed Tuesday.
Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke said he dismissed 50 felony drug counts against John M. Hunter, 35, at the request of federal prosecutors.
The state charges, filed in August 2012, accused Hunter of manufacturing and delivering cocaine and marijuana. Hunter had pleaded not guilty.
Tuesday's decision to dismiss those charges comes just days after a federal grand jury indicted Hunter of one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The indictment accused Hunter of possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams of cocaine and more than 50 kilograms of marijuana between May 2009 and August 2011, U.S. Attorney James Santelle said.
Hunter is to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Green Bay on Dec. 11, Santelle said.
Hunter was one of 15 people charged in state court following a drug investigation that accused Hunter of distributing drugs in Wausau, Antigo and the Bass Lake area of Langlade County, authorities said.
Among those charged was former Antigo school principal and coach John Lund.
Uttke said Tuesday that federal prosecutors asked him to dismiss the state charges.
“They felt it was an important case and should be prosecuted that way,” Uttke said. “I think it is beyond a Langlade County case. This is a statewide case.”
The state charges could be filed again, Uttke said.