Felony drug conspiracy charges have been filed against seventeen adults in La Crosse county courts after a year-long investigation into a methamphetamine enterprise. The West Central Metropolitan Enforcement Group launched the investigation last year after seeing a three hundred percent increase in jail bookings related to meth charges. Local law enforcement agencies worked together to track the individuals involved in what they called a ‘very sophisticated’ meth trafficking enterprise.
Investigators found that hundreds of pounds of high grade crystal meth were brought into the area and they say the coulee region’s proximity to I-90 and I-94 make it more susceptible to drug activity. In addition to seizing meth, cash, and guns, law enforcement also identified links to Mexican cartel activities. The investigators report that one ounce of meth would sell for one thousand to twelve hundred dollars and that this was a much more dangerous and much higher grade of crystal meth than what they’ve seen in the past.
Tom Johnson, Investigative Coordinator, West Central Metropolitan Enforcement Group said, “The difference here is that the meth we’re talking about here in this investigation is that this is a high grade crystal methamphetamine. This is what’s made in what we refer to as “super-labs,” generally coming out of Mexico and being transported in through the Twin Cities and then down into the coulee region.” Nine of the seventeen adults charged are in custody.
The investigation remains active and officials say they expect more arrests.