Dane County Sheriff’s Office Investigators Conclude Lengthy Drug Death Investigation with Four Dealers in Custody

November 18, 2014
Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone:(608) 284-6142
Schaffer@danesheriff.com
Sheriff's Office

A lengthy drug investigation that began on July 4th, 2014 in the town of Dunkirk, concluded the evening of November 13th, with the arrest of Cody A. Merkes, age 25 of Oregon.  Three others, Devin L. Eisner, age 22 of Stoughton, Robbert S. Knipfer, age 26 of Stoughton, and Joseph Mayweathers, age 24 of Madison, were all arrested as part of the same investigation.  All of the men are being held in the Dane County Jail.

 

The arrests are the result of an extensive investigation that began when Dylan Nelson died of a heroin overdose on his 25th birthday at his home in the town of Dunkirk.  After interviewing Dylan’s family and friends, detectives learned that Robbert Knipfer had sold the heroin to Dylan the day of his death.  As detectives began to look into Dylan’s history of drug use, they learned that he had also purchased heroin from Cody Merkes in the past.

 

A domestic related call to 2585 Door Creek Road in Stoughton on July 5th resulted in Sheriff’s deputies arresting and interviewing Devin L. Eisner, age 22, who consequently gave consent for a search of his residence.  During the search deputies found large sums of cash, along with heroin and prescription drugs, that Eisner stated he purchased from Cody Merkes, which Eisner then re-sold.

 

On July 6th, Sheriff’s deputies and Stoughton Police responded to another overdose in the City of Stoughton.  The 21-year-old man survived after being administered Narcan, but later identified Merkes as his heroin dealer.  During the investigation, detectives were also led to Joseph Mayweathers, who often supplied Merkes with drugs. 

 

This series of events led Sheriff’s deputies to conduct a search warrant on July 9th at 1089 Highway 14, where Merkes lived with relatives.  The search warrant resulted in the seizure of over 50 guns, over $4600 in cash, heroin, a large marijuana grow, and over 80 packets of suboxone, along with other prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia. Merkes was arrested and charged with two felonies, Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin and Possession with Intent to Deliver a Non-Narcotic.  He posted bail and continued to sell drugs despite his bail conditions, including three controlled buys by a Dane County Narcotics Task Force informant.  Another informant working with the task force also purchased heroin from Joseph Mayweathers on three occasions. 

 

Merkes was arrested again on Thursday, November 13th during a traffic stop, and a final search warrant was executed at 101 N. Rutland Avenue in Brooklyn, where Merkes had been residing with his girlfriend.  Merkes now faces additional felony charges of Delivery of Heroin and Bail Jumping.  On Monday, November 17th, his bail was set at $10,000. 

 

Knipfer and Mayweathers are both being charged with First Degree Reckless Homicide/Deliver Drugs for the death of Dylan Nelson.  Devin L. Eisner is being indicted federally on drug and weapons charges.