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Laundromat complaint leads to drug charges against La Crosse man

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A complaint of two people taking drugs inside a laundromat has led to multiple drug charges against a 58-year-old La Crosse man.

Edward L. Branson was Tuesday in La Crosse County Circuit Court with a felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called June 20 to The Giant Wash in La Crosse after a witness reported two people — Branson and a woman estimated around 20 years old — were smoking something out of a bowl-shaped pipe.

Branson was still inside the laundromat when police arrived. The complaint said he denied being with anyone or using narcotics.

Police noticed a duffel bag next to Branson and asked for permission to search it. The complaint says Branson gave consent, and police reportedly found 10 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale and $228 in cash.

La Crosse County District Attorney intern Andrew Tyler asked Judge Elliott Levine to impose a cash bond. Tyler said Branson "has a long criminal history" and is a flight risk.

Defense attorney Zachariah Fudge said Branson is already on a probation hold and that a cash bond is "academic."

Levine set a cash bond of $5,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for June 29.

La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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