Accused of keeping a drug house, UWM TKE president appears in court

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A UW-Milwaukee student is facing a series of charges in the midst of what police say is an ongoing investigation into allegations regarding a UW-Milwaukee fraternity -- Tau Kappa Epsilon. That fraternity is suspended as officials investigate allegations fraternity members drugged young women with date rape drugs during a party at the frat house on Oakland Avenue. The fraternity's president, 28-year-old Thomas Kreinbring faces two felony charges and a misdemeanor in a separate case filed on September 22nd -- and on Tuesday, September 23rd, he made his initial appearance in court.

Thomas Kreinbring

Police are looking into reports from several young women who say they were incoherent and felt like they had been drugged at a frat party at the TKE house on Saturday, September 13th.

A search warrant affidavit says at the TKE party that night, female guests could purchase an $8 card that got them drinks and a special drink. To get into the party, you needed to know a special knock. When officers got to the party, there were 42 people in the basement — all under age 21.

During the investigation, one student told police he heard TKE members were known to drug people at parties in the past. Police obtained a report from Shorewood police in which three sexual assaults were reported connected to TKE members in April.

Kreinbring has been charged in a separate case, accused of having and selling marijuana from the TKE house. Kreinbring faces the following charges: possession with intent to deliver controlled substance, possession of prescription drug without valid prescription and keeping a drug house.

The criminal complaint against Kreinbring says police executed a search warrant on Tuesday, September 16th -- days after the frat party, and found “two bags of suspected marijuana, a digital scale with suspected marijuana residue, a pipe and two boxes of sandwich bags.” The officers also found pills that were later identified as Adderall. All of this was found in Kreinbring's room.

According to the complaint, Kreinbring told police “he smokes marijuana every day and drinks every night.” He told officers “he had four different bags of marijuana in his room and that he purchases four different kinds of marijuana for different purposes (one for studying, one for sleeping, and one for ‘going on a different plane’)."

Kreinbring denied selling marijuana, but the complaint says “if a roommate asked him for some, he would sell it to them for whatever he paid for the marijuana.”

Kreinbring entered a Milwaukee County courtroom on Tuesday, September 23rd expressionless -- wearing a black suit. His lawyer says he served in the military, did humanitarian service, is a 3.7 GPA student, and an Eagle Scout.

"It's clear the allegations were that there was marijuana and unprescribed Aderall in the home, but the home itself was not rented or leased for the purpose of keeping such paraphernalia and contraband. He indicates that if one of his roommates wanted to purchase marijuana he would sell it to them. Does that meet the definition of the statute?" Kreinbring's attorney, Dan Adams said.

Adams was trying to get the "keeping a drug house" charge dropped -- but the court commissioner refused to do so.

Kreinbring's attorney issued the following statement to FOX6 News:

"My client has been charged with three mundane drug-related offenses that he will be contesting. The media's irresponsible coverage of this case is disheartening. Rather than rush to judgment, the media should allow the criminal justice system to run its course and stop repeating unfounded rumors."

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