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Two accused of selling drugs out of North Side La Crosse hotel

Two accused of selling drugs out of North Side La Crosse hotel

Kelly R. Knudtson


Steven R. Coey


A La Crosse County couple was in court Tuesday after they were accused of dealing purple fentanyl cut with sugar, as well as other drugs, out of a La Crosse hotel.

Kelly R. Knudtson, 31, West Salem, and Steven R. Coey, 46, no permanent address, were both charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with manufacturing or delivering Schedule I or II narcotics, possession with intent to deliver amphetamines, possession with intent to deliver narcotics and maintaining a drug trafficking place, all as a party to a crime.

They also were each charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint:

Staff members at the AmericInn on Rose Street called police Friday after growing suspicious of the number of short-stay traffic in Coey’s hotel room, noting that Coey also was staying in a motor home in the parking lot.

While watching the hotel, officers noted several visitors stop by and leave shortly, as well as hand-to-hand transactions, including one where Coey handed something to a passenger in a vehicle that turned out to be fentanyl after investigation.

Two confidential informants told police they received purple fentanyl from Knudtson and Coey at the hotel, saying they had purchased drugs from the couple more than 100 times.

Police received a search warrant for the hotel room and motor home in the parking lot, while other officers followed Knudtson and Coey, who were arrested in downtown La Crosse. Police also received a warrant to search Knudtson’s phone.

Police found 9.5 grams of fentanyl and 13.5 grams of methamphetamine, as well as 4.5 grams of sugar, which Knudtson told police she used to cut the narcotics, according to the complaint.

Police also found a digital scale with drug residue, $895 in cash and five bags with Suboxone strips. Police estimated that the street value of the fentanyl was more than $1,000. According to court records, both Knudtson and Coey used her phone to sell the drugs. Both are being held on a $10,000 cash bond ordered by Judge Todd Bjerke. They will be back in court March 31.

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


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