Quadren Wilson charged with selling fentanyl, family reacts

MADISON, Wis. — The man who says he was shot multiple times in the back by authorities during an attempted arrest on Madison’s east side two weeks ago has been charged with a felony count of delivering narcotics after someone he allegedly sold fentanyl to later died.

Quadren Wilson, 38, was taken into custody as part of an operation involving a total of 21 law enforcement officers from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin DNR, Madison police and the DEA on Feb. 3.

But Wilson’s family members and attorney have lingering questions that Friday’s court appearance didn’t answer–questioning how the arrest stemming from an incident that occurred ten months ago, warranted the involvement of 21 law enforcement agents.

“I feel like they’re just trying to put something on him or try to portray him as somebody he’s not,” said Wilson’s sister Jahari Morris. “That’s what I want to know; why now?”

The criminal complaint filed Friday charges Wilson with delivering Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics as a repeat offender, a Class E felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The complaint alleges that someone was found passed out in a McDonald’s bathroom in the Town of Blooming Grove on April 9, 2021. EMS personnel later declared the man dead.

A female friend of the man said she didn’t know what happened, but thought he may have overdosed. Speaking with detectives later, the woman said she received a pair of phone numbers from a car that stopped next to her while she was panhandling. She said she called one of the numbers to buy what she believed was heroin on April 9, 2021. However, an autopsy showed the man who died in the McDonald’s bathroom had fentanyl in his system.

Based on the phone numbers and the description of the dealer being a light-skinned Black male who was between 250 and 300 pounds, as well as listening to jail phone call recordings, detectives believed it to be Wilson.

During his initial appearance in Dane County court Friday, prosecutors asked for a $5,000 cash bond, claiming the alleged $60 sale of a half-gram of fentanyl led to the man’s death.

Wilson’s attorney argued the state couldn’t prove Wilson sold the deadly drugs and he was identified circumstantially through vague descriptions and a phone that could have been used by anyone. His defense also questioned why the charge is coming 10 months after the alleged incident in April 2021, claiming prosecutors hurried to charge Wilson with something after the incident on Feb. 3.

The defense asked for a $100 cash bail instead, arguing Wilson’s probation was being revoked anyway and a bond wasn’t necessary.

Ultimately, the Dane County court commissioner ruled for a $1,000 cash bail because Wilson had not been charged with manslaughter in the alleged case and because he was going to be held in jail regardless of the bond. A preliminary hearing in the case was set for the morning of March 11.

Little detail on large response

The charge against Wilson does not mention the Feb. 3 incident, leaving many questions about why authorities used such a large response for an alleged drug sale offense.

Wilson’s family says his car was pinned between two unmarked law enforcement pickup trucks before his windows were smashed and he was shot several times in the back despite putting his hands on the dashboard. During the arrest, two DCI agents shot their weapons, according to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

“I know they have no knocks and they barge in and they do that but I’ve never seen a daylight smash and grab,” said Wilson’s attorney Steve Eisenberg. “I’ve seen it in the movies. I’ve seen it when they’re taking down some major terrible person.”

Friday evening, the sheriff’s office identified the two agents as special agents Mark Wagner and Nathan Peskie.

RELATED: DCSO: No evidence Quadren Wilson had weapon at time of arrest

Wilson’s family has said he was unarmed, which the sheriff’s office also confirmed Friday evening. As of last week, no reason for his arrest had been given to them beyond being told it was for a parole violation. The sheriff’s office said Friday Wilson “was the subject of an ongoing investigation.”

Dane County Jail records confirm Wilson was booked on tentative charges of a probation/parole violation.

A copy of the Department of Corrections apprehension request also indicates he was wanted on a parole violation but did not specify what the violation was. The apprehension request also indicated to law enforcement that Wilson had a history related to firearms and urged caution during the arrest.

WATCH: Video released of arrest, aftermath of police shooting of Quadren Wilson

News 3 Now has repeatedly asked the Dane County Sheriff’s Office about the reason for the arrest, how many shots were fired during the arrest and how many times Wilson was shot, but those questions have gone unanswered in the two weeks since the incident.

Wilson’s family has called for Wilson to be transferred back to the hospital, where he was held for one day after the shooting before being transferred to the jail.

With his consent, Wilson’s attorney shared the 38-year-olds initial medical report that he obtained from UW hospital with News 3 on Friday. The report indicated doctors found five wounds on Wilson’s back and noted decreased sensation. Eisenberg said doctors located one bullet and several fragments.

“Thank god the bullet didn’t extend into his spinal canal because he would either be dead or he’d be paralyzed,” Eisenberg said.

He also said Wilson is doing much since concerns over his care at the Dane County Jail were voiced by his supporters. He said Wilson did have an infection which was the source of his pain but after Wilson was able to see a Physician over Zoom it has since been treated.

Earlier this week, the Dane County District Attorney’s office had said it was preparing to file at least one drug charge against Wilson. Wilson’s initial appearance was originally scheduled for earlier this week but was delayed.