Two people were arrested on felony drug charges Tuesday in La Crosse County after a traffic stop revealed more than a 100 grams of pot in the trunk.

Mara I. Stello, 22, West Salem and Tristen D. Schmeckpeper, 23, Onalaska each were charged Thursday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, a Wisconsin State Trooper spotted a car driven by Stello traveling 94 mph on Interstate 90 near Bangor. Stello pulled off the interstate and into a Bangor parking lot, and the trooper made contact with her and her passenger, Schmeckpeper.

Mara Stello


Tristen Schmeckpeper


When speaking to them, the trooper noted the smell of raw marijuana and saw Schmeckpeper vaping, which the trooper suspected was to cover up the smell. Stello’s driver’s license also was suspended, according to the report, and the car belonged to her boyfriend.

After noting that Stello had open drug cases and Schmeckpeper had prior cases of obstructing an officer and concealing weapons, the trooper called for a police dog to sniff for drugs.

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According to the complaint, the dog indicated that there were drugs in the vehicle and a search revealed two tabs of LSD, 17 packages of raw marijuana adding up to 127.66 grams, methamphetamine and three glass pipes.

Stello was allowed to call her boyfriend and told him she was going to jail, “For the stuff in the trunk! Thanks a lot!” according to the report.

Schmeckpeper was also placed under arrest for the meth found in his wallet. According to the report, he became upset, saying “it was only meth and meth was like weed.”

Stello was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver THC, possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor bail jumping. Schmeckpeper was charged with possession of methamphetamine. Both were released on $1,000 signature bonds with conditions that they submit to drug testing by court commissioner Joe Veenstra.

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


City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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