"> Methodist Pastor on Wisconsin Indian Reservation Arrested on Child Porn, Meth Charges – Ministry Watch

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Methodist Pastor on Wisconsin Indian Reservation Arrested on Child Porn, Meth Charges

A pastor at a church on the Oneida Indian Reservation in Wisconsin has been arrested on 20 felony counts of possession of child pornography and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Rick E. Haberline, 48, serves as pastor for Oneida United Methodist Church. Haberline was arrested Feb. 24 after the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with members of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, conducted a search at the church and Haberline’s nearby home. 

Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Mike Fitzpatrick told Native News Online the church is in the heart of the Oneida Reservation and is likely attended by Tribal members. 

Law enforcement officers had obtained a search warrant in response to a tip line report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

 

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Jeremiah Cottrell-Duebner, a lay leader at the church, said in a statement quoted on the Oneida Nation website that the church community is “shocked and heartbroken over the recent devastating news” about Haberland. 

“The United Methodist Conference of Wisconsin does not tolerate any misconduct of this behavior or nature at all and takes this matter very seriously,” Cottrell-Duebner said. 

He said Haberland has been removed from his pastoral duties and the church is working cooperatively with Outagamie County officials on the ongoing investigation.

Haberland previously served as the pastor of New Hope United Methodist Church in De Pere, Wisconsin; Suring and Hickory United Methodist Churches in Suring, Wisconsin; Phillips United Methodist Church in Phillips, Wisconsin; and Tabor United Methodist Church in Eden, Wisconsin, police officials said.

Haberland was booked into the Outagamie County Jail in Appleton, Wisconsin, and is awaiting charges. 

 

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Anne Stych

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