Olsen, 26-year-old man from Hancock, is being held on a $100,000 cash bond, as ordered by Portage County Circuit Court Judge, John Finn. Olsen will be held at the Portage County jail until formal charges are filed Monday, Dec. 30. District Attorney David Knaapen will be handling the case.
Peterson, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), was found in his home on the 1800 block of Briggs Street Tuesday, Nov. 17. The autopsy determined that the cause of death was a heroin overdose.
Olsen’s charges are a Class C felony, which states that whoever causes the death of another human by manufacturing, distributing or delivering a controlled substance, including heroin, is guilty of reckless homicide. He could face up to 40 years in prison.
Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman said that he has tracked heroin related deaths for three years and has seen an increase. In 2011 there was one death, two in 2012 and one in 2013.
“Those numbers may not look huge but in our demographic they are significant and just a slight reflection of heroin use in the county,” Riffleman said.
Stevens Point Police Chief Kevin Ruder said heroin is a growing problem everywhere, and the Stevens Point police will be doing everything they can to crack down on the issue in this area.
“We see heroin as public enemy No. 1 and we are going to do whatever it takes to address the problem and to bring those who are buying, and especially those who are selling, to justice,” Ruder said.
The investigation is continuing, Ruder said, and police will follow up to find out where Olsen was obtaining his supply of heroin.
Ruder said he is unable to comment further on any information police may have but they do intend to follow the supply as far as they can in order to stop the drug from being distributed.