Rep. Nygren takes on 'social media mob' in response to daughter's charges

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE 10/17:

Wis. Rep. John Nygren has released a statement regarding new drug charges filed against his daughter in jail.

The Marinette Republican took to Facebook to address news that Cassie Nygren had been accused of having a man send her drugs hidden in postcards.

The alleged crimes happened while Nygren is being held in the Brown County Jail awaiting trial for a drug overdose death.

Here is Rep. Nygren's full statement:

"Unfortunately this has been another difficult week for our family.

Thank you to all those who have reached out in support, you have no idea how appreciative we are to have so many good people as friends. We had and still have no idea about the additional charges Cassie faces beyond what has been in the news so it is difficult to speak about it from a position of knowledge, but I do feel the need to clarify some things.

While Maggie, Cali, Colin and I along with others that love and support Cassie try to avoid the negative social media, that surrounds her, it is difficult to completely escape it all. For the life of me, I will never understand how people can speak with such certainty about things they know nothing about. Or how some seem to take joy in tearing others down, but it seems to be more and more common every day.

Cassie has made many mistakes and is and will be facing the consequences associated with these mistakes. However her issues are not all together uncommon. Mental health problems, and addiction are rampant in our society. They know no boundaries, republican or democrat, good families or bad, rich or poor, urban and rural. That is not a reason to look the other way when mistakes are made and that certainly isn't happening in Cassie's situation.

A few facts need to be made crystal clear to the social media experts who think they know every aspect of Cassie's life and her legal troubles. The family has never bailed her out, we have never hired any fancy lawyers, and we have never asked for or received any special treatment. She has never gotten out of any charges because of who she is related to. In fact I would suggest that the facts point to her being charged rather severely. Something the family has never disagreed with. None of the HOPE Agenda bills have been designed to help Cassie, in fact they were intended to help others never reach the low points she has experienced. These bills have never been about politics, power or increasing my profile. My decision to publicly address these problems came at Cassie's request and with a great deal of hesitation on my part. Seriously who would want to share their family’s deepest secrets and the shame associated with the world?

While the pain of her struggles and the associated 24 hour news reporting that comes with it has been very real for the family, we do take comfort in knowing that the awareness and the significant change associated with her story has benefited others, and hopefully prevented others from a similar fate.

For us we will continue to love and support Cassie, while continuing to provide a safe and loving home for her son. For those reading all we ask is that before joining the angry social media mob on this or any issue. Know the facts and realize that but for the grace of god, you could someday find yourself in a similar position." - Rep. John Nygren.

On Oct. 15, Cassie Nygren was charged with Conspiracy to Deliver Illegal Articles to Inmate and Conspiracy to Commit Delivery of Amphetamine. Action 2 News first alerted you to the possible charges last week. Scroll down to the 10/15 update for details from the criminal complaint.

Cassie Nygren is set to stand trial in February for the 2017 drug overdose death of Jennifer L. Skeen and Skeen's unborn child.

In that case, Nygren is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, two counts of Manufacture/Deliver Heroin, Child Neglect, Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.

Prosecutors say Nygren and her boyfriend, Shawn M. Gray, delivered heroin laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl to Skeen. Skeen was eight months pregnant when she was found dead of an overdose at a home in the 1500 block of S. Webster Ave in Allouez on June 2, 2017.

The medical examiner found that Skeen's unborn daughter died due to the death of her mother.

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UPDATE 10/15:

Cassie Nygren, the woman charged in the fatal overdose death of a pregnant woman, has been charged with two new counts related to a jail drug conspiracy, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News.

On Oct. 15, Nygren was charged with Conspiracy to Deliver Illegal Articles to Inmate and Conspiracy to Commit Delivery of Amphetamine. Action 2 News first alerted you to the possible charges last week.

Nygren is being held in the Brown County Jail as she awaits trial for the drug overdose death of Jennifer Skeen and the woman's unborn child.

Action 2 News has obtained the new criminal complaint filed against Nygren. The document shows the drug conspiracy investigation started on Sept. 27. A jail staffer had intercepted a postcard that "appeared to be tampered with." The card had three square-shaped strips sealed between the front and back of the card.

The postcard was addressed to an inmate named Taylor LaPlant. The postcard was taken for testing. The Brown County Sheriff's Office started to listen to LaPlant's recorded jail phone calls.

A Sept. 25 call made from LaPlant's jail account stood out. However, it wasn't LaPlant on the phone. It was Cassie Nygren. Nygren and LaPlant were in the same day room together at jail.

Nygren had phone privileges suspended due to "previous infractions with abusing our communication system," reads the complaint. LaPlant gave her PIN to Nygren to use to make calls.

Nygren used LaPlant's PIN to call a Green Bay man named Ron Laundrie. Laundrie is known to frequently visit Nygren at the jail.

During the conversation, Laundrie discussed sending postcards to Nygren in jail.

Officers searched the cells of both Nygren and LaPlant. Another postcard turned up in Nygren's cell. It came from Ron Laundrie's P.O. Box. The handwriting was similar to the postcard sent to LaPlant and intercepted by officers.

Nygren's postcard appeared to have the same tampering as the LaPlant postcard.

A greeting card was also intercepted from Nygren's cell.

These items were sent to the Brown County Drug Task Force. They determined that Laundrie had sent postcards to both women and they contained a powder substance.

The Brown County Drug Task Force executed a search at Laundrie's Green Bay home and found meth, amphetamine, documents, jail letters, drug paraphernalia and a phone, according to the complaint. Inside a safe were several baggies of pills. The pills included morphine, amphetamine, and a sedative called Alprazolam -- also known as Xanax.

The safe also included six letters from Cassie Nygren from the Brown County Jail. Some letters were written under an alias.

"It is evident that all of them are from Nygren to Laundrie and contain coded language referring to controlled substances and how to send them into the jail through the mail," reads the criminal complaint.

In a letter dated July 7, Nygren asks for some "favors" from Laundrie.

"The next favor you should do for me is get me a little tiny sliver of a [Suboxone] strip. Since I know you are able to get em. Just like a half? I was thinking you can get my 20 lopes. Send em in my roommates name and put someone elses name on the return address like Aunt Nora and a made up address," reads one of the letters from Nygren. She goes on to explain how to conceal it in a postcard.

"It's 100 percent safe proof," Cassie writes.

Subsequent letters continue to ask Laundrie to send drugs through the mail.

In a Sept. 21 letter, Nygren asks Laundrie to contact a man named "Elmo" and get drugs from him to send to her, according to the complaint.

In a Nov. 23 letter, Nygren instructs Laundrie to add some friends on Facebook. "Ask about the orange things. I'll love you forever," writes Nygren. Investigators say this is Nygren asking Laundrie to get the names of people she knows to be drug dealers.

Officers caught up with Laundrie, who admitted he knew Cassie Nygren. He says he's been seeing her for two years since she's been in jail. Nygren and Laundrie's daughter went through heroin court together.

Laundrie states he visits Nygren three times a week and that she calls him almost every night. He denies putting drugs in letters to Nygren.

In Laundrie's vehicle, officers found several postcards in the front seat and passenger seat. There were letters from Nygren in the glove box.

Laundrie was taken into custody. He denied sending drugs to Nygren and denied that she had asked him to do so.

On Oct. 1, officers spoke with Taylor LaPlant at jail. LaPlant admitted that she allowed Nygren to use her PIN to make calls. She said Nygren asked if she could send letters in LaPlant's name.

Nygren told LaPlant that she previously got drugs in jail and wanted to try it again. Nygren told her about her friend "Ron" and said he planned to dissolve Adderall in water and put it on the mail he sent to them.

LaPlant says Nygren received a card and gave some of the pieces to her and another inmate. LaPlant says she three it in the garbage.

Laundrie put money into LaPlant's jail account for letting Cassie used Taylor's PIN to make calls.

On Oct. 10, testing of a powder on postcards came back positive for amphetamine, according to the complaint.

Taylor LaPlant was also charged with Conspiracy to Deliver Illegal Articles to Inmate and Conspiracy to Commit Delivery of Amphetamine.

During a court hearing Tuesday, the state requested a $10,000 cash bond for Nygren. That will be determined at an Oct. 22 hearing. Nygren is being held on a $50,000 cash bond in the overdose death case.

LaPlant also appeared in court Tuesday. Her bond was set at $5,000.

No charges are listed for Laundrie.

NYGREN OVERDOSE CASE

Nygren is set to stand trial in February for the 2017 drug overdose death of Jennifer L. Skeen and Skeen's unborn child.

In that case, Nygren is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, two counts of Manufacture/Deliver Heroin, Child Neglect, Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.

Prosecutors say Nygren and her boyfriend, Shawn M. Gray, delivered heroin laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl to Skeen. Skeen was eight months pregnant when she was found dead of an overdose at a home in the 1500 block of S. Webster Ave in Allouez on June 2, 2017.

The medical examiner found that Skeen's unborn daughter died due to the death of her mother.

Investigators developed Nygren and Gray as suspects. Undercover officers conducted controlled buys, and confidential informants reported deals and attempted deals involving Nygren.

On Oct. 10, 2017, Nygren and Gray were arrested after fleeing from police. Nygren's 14-month-old child was in the car at the time.

After her arrest, Nygren gave a statement to investigators, which was detailed in a criminal complaint. Nygren said she and Gray sold heroin to Skeen. She said she learned about Skeen's death on her social media news feed.

Nygren stated that she believed her supplier's heroin may have been mixed with Fentanyl or Carfentanil because it had been making people sick.

Shawn Gray was convicted of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide and five other counts in the case. He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

Cassie Nygren is the daughter of state lawmaker John Nygren of Marinette. Rep. Nygren said he was inspired by his daughter's struggle with drugs to pass HOPE Agenda laws regarding substance abuse in Wisconsin.

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PREVIOUS UPDATE

Cassie Nygren, the woman charged in the fatal overdose death of a pregnant woman, is now facing a new drug charge , according to the Brown County lock up list.

The daily court appearance list shows Nygren is facing these new charges:

--Manufacture/Deliver Amphetamine
--Deliver Illegal Articles to Inmate

The offense date is listed as Oct. 8. They are listed as Drug Task Force cases.

No court appearance will happen Wednesday.

Official charges have not been filed. Action 2 News will update this story when we get more information.

Nygren is set to stand trial in February for the 2017 drug overdose death of Jennifer L. Skeen and Skeen's unborn child.

In that case, Nygren is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, two counts of Manufacture/Deliver Heroin, Child Neglect, Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.

Prosecutors say Nygren and her boyfriend, Shawn M. Gray, delivered heroin laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl to Skeen. Skeen was eight months pregnant when she was found dead of an overdose at a home in the 1500 block of S. Webster Ave in Allouez on June 2, 2017.

The medical examiner found that Skeen's unborn daughter died due to the death of her mother.

Investigators developed Nygren and Gray as suspects. Undercover officers conducted controlled buys, and confidential informants reported deals and attempted deals involving Nygren.

On Oct. 10, 2017, Nygren and Gray were arrested after fleeing from police. Nygren's 14-month-old child was in the car at the time.

After her arrest, Nygren gave a statement to investigators, which was detailed in a criminal complaint. Nygren said she and Gray sold heroin to Skeen. She said she learned about Skeen's death on her social media news feed.

Nygren stated that she believed her supplier's heroin may have been mixed with Fentanyl or Carfentanil because it had been making people sick.

Nygren is being held on a $50,000 bond in the Skeen case.

Shawn Gray was convicted of 1st Degree Reckless Homicide and five other counts in the case. He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

Cassie Nygren is the daughter of state lawmaker John Nygren of Marinette. Rep. Nygren said he was inspired by his daughter's struggle with drugs to pass HOPE Agenda laws regarding substance abuse in Wisconsin.

Read the original version of this article at www.wbay.com.