A misunderstanding last week pushed La Crosse police and La Crosse County Jail staff to work together to improve the new body scanner amnesty program.
Police arrested Christopher Malone of Chicago for a no-alcohol probation violation April 19 and discovered 0.7 grams of marijuana and three e-cigarettes containing traces of THC, according to the police report. Police arrested him on charges of a probation hold, two counts of bail jumping, possession of THC and possession of cocaine, according to the complaint.
A deputy offered Malone amnesty at the La Crosse County Jail, and Malone surrendered 4 to 5 small bags of cocaine hidden in his underwear, according to the complaint.
La Crosse police objected because Malone has felony bonds for possession of drugs with intent to deliver and was already found with drugs during the arrest, but Malone said, “They already offered me no charges if I give them up,” according to the police report. A jail sergeant said he would have to honor the amnesty since it was already offered, according to the complaint.
Sheriff Jeff Wolf introduced the amnesty program in February during the body scanner unveiling. The scanner was introduced as a tool to help decrease the amount of contraband smuggled into jail.
Amnesty would be given “if the arresting agency and the arresting officer are agreeable,” Wolf said, during the unveiling.
“There was a timing issue when amnesty was offered,” Wolf said, regarding last week’s incident. “In this case, the body scanner worked exactly like it was designed to do. Drugs were prevented from coming into the jail, which protects the inmates from harm and La Crosse County from liability,” he said.
“The police department understands and agrees that keeping drugs out of the jail is important and the investment in the scanner is a great idea,” Rob Abraham, assistant chief of police, said. “Things didn’t go as planned, but we are happy the Sheriff’s Department has reached out to us to develop processes to prevent similar situations from happening again and allowing our staff to hold people accountable for their actions.”
Wolf reiterated Abraham’s commitment to “continue to work with law enforcement agencies in La Crosse County to update procedures ... not only (to) prevent contraband from coming into the jail but to assist law enforcement in their investigations as well.”
Christopher Malone, 41, of Chicago, was charged April 30 with felony bail jumping and possession of THC. Malone violated a no-alcohol consumption probation rule and had a preliminary breath test result of 0.126 percent, according to the police report. During the arrest, police discovered a marijuana blunt that had a total weight of 0.7 grams, according to the complaint.
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Antrell R. Thomas
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Richard Wainwright, 55, of La Crosse, was charged April 26 with two counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police arrested Wainwright after discovering 0.9 grams of what authorities suspected of being methamphetamine, according to the complaint.
Jeffrey Brandt, 48, of La Crosse, was charged April 25 with possession of methamphetamine. Police arrested Brandt after a police dog detected drugs during a traffic stop, according to the complaint.
Zephaniah Fifer, 38, of La Crosse, was charged April 25 with attempting to flee or elude an officer and obstructing an officer. Police arrested Fifer after a vehicle pursuit, according to the complaint.
Thomas Chadwell, 52, of La Crosse, was charged April 24 with possession of narcotic drugs, possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor bail jumping. Police responded to a noise complaint on South Seventh Street because Chadwell was yelling, according to police. Authorities discovered a total of 3.2 grams of drugs in the apartment Chadwell was in, according to the complaint.
Madeline Fure, 25, of Cassville, Wis., was charged April 16 with possession of methamphetamine. Police arrested Fure after discovering 0.33 grams of methamphetamine in her purse, according to the complaint.
Katie Kaiser, 28, of Galesville, was charged April 16 with possession of methamphetamine, possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police arrested Kaiser after she failed a field sobriety test, had a preliminary breath test result of 0.169 percent and failed to stay in her lane while driving, according to police. Authorities also discovered what was believed to be 0.8 grams of methamphetamine, 3.4 grams of marijuana and 6.7 grams of THC, according to the complaint.
Tanner Olds, 26, of Onalaska, was charged April 12 with stalking. The victim told police March 23 that Olds had been tracking her phone and whereabouts and making threatening calls and texts, according to the complaint.
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James A. Conner III
Montrell D. Elmore
Walter D. Walker
Justin L. Shaffer
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The building at 333 Vine St. is a criminal justice hub. The La Crosse County Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center, which opened in 1997 with …