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RACINE COUNTY ⸺ A Burlington man faces felonies in two cases ⸺ one involving drug dealing and one involving vehicle theft.

In the drug case, the Racine County District Attorney’s office has charged Julian M. Barler, 24, with two counts of  manufacture/deliver THC (<= 200 grams), second or subsequent offense. Both charges resulted from a drug operation by law enforcement utilizing controlled buys in February.

Later in the year, Barler is alleged to have stolen a vehicle from a Speedway gas station in Racine. Authorities later found Barler and the vehicle in Illinois. The DA’s office has charged him with operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent, a felony. 

The charges in both cases carry repeater status.

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Drug dealing case

According to the criminal complaint in the drug case, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department set up a series of controlled buys with Barler in February.

These buys took place on Douglas Street in Burlington inside Barler’s vehicle. 

On two occasions, Feb. 3 and Feb. 7, a CI with the sheriff’s department bought three THC vape cartridges from Barler. Each of the cartridges contained about a gram of THC, for a total of 3 grams, according to the complaint.

Vehicle theft case

Barler stands also accused of, in July, stealing a white Jeep from the Speedway gas station at 2110 S. Green Bay Rd. in Racine.

According to the criminal complaint, Barler allegedly stole the white 2014 Jeep Cherokee from the gas station while the driver had briefly run into the gas station. The driver had left the car unlocked and running. 

The driver, forgetting something in the car, came back outside to witness Barler pulling off from the gas station in the vehicle.

A Glenview, Ill., police department officer later located the vehicle and Barler across state lines. 

At the time the officer found Barler, he was walking to the Metra Station. 

After some questioning, the officer took Barler ⸺ who posed as the vehicle’s owner and presented the officer with documents with the owner’s name on them ⸺ into custody.

Initial appearance

According to online court records, Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac set Barler’s cash bond in the theft case at $5,000 at his initial appearance on Nov. 25. Bjelajac set the same cash bond amount in Barler’s drug dealing case.

Barler will next appear in court for preliminary hearings for both cases on Dec. 3. 

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Daniel Thompson is an independent journalist and the founder of The Uptown Observer based in the Kenosha, Wis., area. He started in journalism at the Western Nebraska Observer in 2012 and, most notably,...