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Police: La Crosse man stole meth before fleeing Tuesday

Police: La Crosse man stole meth before fleeing Tuesday

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Joshua Kletzke

Kletzke

A La Crosse area man stole a large bag of methamphetamine and dropped it in a hotel hallway before he was arrested earlier this week, according to charges filed Thursday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Joshua A. Kletzke, 37, no permanent address, was charged with armed robbery, possession with intent to deliver more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, maintaining a drug-trafficking place, fleeing police, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of THC and possession of a drug paraphernalia, all as a repeat offender.

According to the criminal complaint, another man brought a gallon-size bag of meth to the Days Inn in the town of Campbell and sold some to several people. While the man was sleeping Tuesday, Kletzke, also known as “Peachy,” threatened a witness with a gun and made her hand over the bag, which contained more than 300 grams of meth worth nearly $10,000, then left.

Surveillance video shows Kletzke leaving the hotel room and jogging down the hallway, dropping the bag of meth as he goes. An employee picked up the bag and turned into his manager, who called police.

Police: La Crosse man selling meth out of Days Inn fled police on flat tires

Video shows Kletzke return and look for the drugs, then ask an employee about the missing bag. The employee told Kletzke police had been contacted, according to the complaint.

At 7:11 p.m., a La Crosse Police Department investigator spotted Kletzke in his vehicle at the Kwik Trip at 3438 Mormon Coulee Road.

Officers deployed spike trips behind his rear tires, according to police, because Kletzke had a history of fleeing police; however, Kletzke drove over the strips and fled in his vehicle.

Police say Kletzke fled northbound on Mormon Coulee Road, despite four flat tires, and police attempted to get him to stop, continuing north before coming to a stop at 16th and Farnam streets.

Kletzke locked his doors and refused to exit his vehicle, according to police, and officers used a bean bag round to break the rear window and take Kletzke into custody. Neither officers nor Kletzke were injured.

Police found a .357 revolver, 2 grams of fentanyl, drug pipes and 23.6 grams of marijuana in the vehicle, according to the complaint. They also found several fake $100 and $1 bills.

Kletzke told police he fled because he was scared and addicted to meth, saying he left prison “dope sick” and had been doing drugs while incarcerated.

Kletzke, who refused to appear in court Thursday, is being held in the La Crosse County Jail. Kletzke has a criminal history in Wisconsin dating back to 2007. He was convicted of felony fleeing an officer in 2008, stalking in 2009 and possession of a firearm by a felon in 2012 and 2017.


Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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