Man charged with having drugs inside La Crosse County Jail

Man charged with having drugs inside La Crosse County Jail

From the From Tribune files: Top crime stories of 2019 series
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A La Crosse man already facing multiple drug charges was charged Wednesday with having more drugs in jail weeks after the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a body scanner that officials said would decrease the amount of contraband smuggled into the jail.

Nathan B. Kohls mug


Nathan B. Kohls, 27, of La Crosse was charged Wednesday with possession of methamphetamine, according to criminal complaint. This charge comes about a week after his initial hearing when police found drugs, guns and thousands of dollars at his South Side home in late February.

According to reports, an anonymous inmate alerted jailers that Kohls had given him Suboxone strips, a prescription medication used to treat addiction, and methamphetamine. The anonymous inmate would not make a written statement but said Kohls gave another inmate methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

Jailers found a note from the other inmate sent to Kohls saying, “Are you still Good?” Jailers believe it was the inmate asking Kohls if he still had drugs, according to reports. The inmate denied sending the note when questioned, according to the criminal complaint.

Jailers searched Kohls’ cell and discovered a small bag containing a white crystallized substance believed to methamphetamine on Kohls’ bunk weighing 1.3 grams, according to reports.

The La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office said it doesn’t know how the drugs were brought into the jail. Kohls denied having any knowledge of the drugs and refused to be questioned, according to the criminal complaint.

Jailers questioned Kohls’ cellmate who said he didn’t know anything and didn’t want any problems, according to the complaint.

The sheriff’s office just invested in a body scanner that costs about $120,000 to deal with the drugs being smuggled into the jail.

Kohls’ “most recent booking preceded the use of the scanner and this emphasizes the need for it,” a representative of the sheriff’s department told the Tribune on Wednesday.

Investigators charged Kohls with the additional drug charge because the anonymous inmate and note from the inmate “corroborated Kohls was the inmate responsible,” according to the criminal complaint.


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