CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Wisconsin man is facing drug charges after a multiple-agency investigation that started when a Port Charlotte man fatally overdosed in December.
39-year-old Michael Schoenmann of Dodgeville, Wisconsin is accused of Fentanyl possession and was arrested Monday. Additional charges are expected.
Cali Miller said she and her fiance Wyatt Cox moved to Port Charlotte from Minnesota in September with their 5-year-old daughter Alyana for a fresh start.
She said on December 26th, Cox received a package and immediately took it into the bathroom. "I thought it was kind of weird he took the mail with him," Miller said.
When she questioned him, Cox told her it was nasal spray for mold exposure he got while working.
Shortly after receiving the bottles, he became unresponsive. "I run out into the kitchen and there Wyatt was on the floor," Miller said. "My daughter is standing next to him terrified. "
Despite Miller and her uncle performing CPR, Cox was pronounced dead. "It's on repeat in my head, just trying to make sense of it all, but I don't think I ever will," Miller said. "A matter of two minutes. Two minutes. He was there and he wasn't."
Detectives sent the bottles to a lab, which determined they contained a Fentanyl derivative known as Cyclopropyl Fentanyl.
"It's going to be 50-100 times stronger than standard morphine," Steven Hill at Salus Care in Fort Myers said.
The DEA and Postal Inspection Service joined the investigation, which led them to Schoenmann, who was observed mailing several packages that were seized and tested positive for containing liquid fluroroisobutyryl fentanyl.
Agents contacted a person receiving parcels from Schoenmann, who cooperated with authorities and used their dark web account to order Fentanyl from Schoenmann.
This led to a federal search warrant for Shoenmann’s residence, which was served on Thursday. Inside, investigators seized approximately 180 grams of powder Fentanyl, mailing supplies, a tub in which Schoenmann was diluting the powder Fentanyl and bottling the liquid, and hundreds of nasal spray containers and fraudulent nasal spray labels.
While law enforcement officials were executing the search warrant, an envelope addressed to Schoenmann arrived via the USPS, containing an additional 15 grams of powdered Fentanyl.
Schoenmann was arrested and held without bond. He could face up to 20 years in prison on the Fentanyl possession charge, and more charges are expected.
Miller said she's glad Schoenmann is behind bars, but nothing will bring her fiance back.
"My daughter talks about him all the time. She misses him a lot," she said. "She's got PTSD from watching her dad die in front of her."
Miller and her daughter have since moved back to Minnesota.