Man arrested with guns, drugs in Homestead parking lot pleads guilty

Benjamin Krohn

MEQUON — One of two Sturgeon Bay men arrested in February for possession of narcotics and firearms, including three assault rifles on the campus of Homestead High School has reached a plea deal in the case against him.

Benjamin Krohn, 20, on Thursday, Sept. 13 pleaded guilty to three charges, one felony and two misdemeanors: carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm on school grounds and possession of THC. He’ll be sentenced on Nov. 26.

Online court records show an open case out of Door County, filed three days after the Ozaukee County case, for manufacture/deliver THC, less than 200 grams, as party to a crime. He was in court for a status conference on Sept. 6, and another status conference was set for Oct. 29.

Willard Hartman

His co-defendant in the Ozaukee County case, Willard Hartman, 20, has a plea/sentencing hearing set for Oct. 4.

Hartman faces 11 charges:

  • Possession of narcotic drugs
  • Possession of a firearm on the grounds of a school (five counts)
  • Carrying a concealed weapon (five counts)

According to a criminal complaint, the arrests occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 10 after that illegal U-turn was performed at Mequon Road and North River Trail in Mequon.

Hartman was driving, prosecutors say, and Krohn was the front-seat passenger.

Homestead High School

While investigating, an officer noted a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle and Krohn “stated he had marijuana,” according to the complaint.

That was just the beginning. Body camera video shows what led to 25 charges between the two of these men.

Investigators discovered an unlocked handgun, six rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, an AK-47 rifle with a 30-round magazine and a Glock firearm.

That wasn’t all. Investigators also found brass knuckles, marijuana and oxycodone.

The complaint says Krohn said they’d gone to Homestead to see a friend play basketball and he admitted to smoking marijuana in the parking lot. He said the firearms belonged to him and he “brought them with in case he wanted to trade or sell them to someone.”

A letter from Mequon-Thiensville School District Superintendent Matthew Joynt said they weren’t targeting anyone, but the news broke the same day as the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 — putting everyone on high alert.