RHINELANDER, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) A former Rhinelander High School teacher is spending another month in custody and four years on probation on convictions for thefts-and-illegal drugs. 35-year-old Joshua Juergens is serving his time at a local drug treatment facility, where he has spent the last two months. He struck a plea deal last fall in which he was convicted on four charges -- most of them reduced -- while four others were dropped.
Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek said Juergens has a quote, "very significant substance abuse problem." He was arrested last September after a disturbance at his home. Authorities noticed computer equipment missing from Rhinelander High, where Juergens was an English teacher until he was fired after his arrest. He had been an English teacher there since last fall.
A search warrant uncovered a marijuana-growing operation with 66 plants, plus illegal prescription drugs and paraphernalia. Juergens also admitted stealing his landlord's pontoon boat and a log splitter, which he sold to support his drug habit. Juergens apologized at his sentencing. After the plea deal, his only felony conviction was for manufacturing marijuana.