It's been a year this week since a major methamphetamine
bust in the La Crosse area put several people behind
But officials say despite the case's magnitude .
it's still an ongoing challenge to keep meth off the
News 8's Madalyn O'Neill has more on where we stand
Mike and Martha ...
It may surprise you, but according to numbers from
20-15, the drug that resulted in the most charges
in La Crosse county was meth .
beating out heroin by a landslide.
At this time last year, various agencies that work
together to stop the drug flow into the Coulee region
made a big step forward by charging 17 people in connection
to a major meth trafficking ring in the region.
While investigators say that put a dent in the supply
at the time .
today, they're still fighting to keep meth out of
It's a little alarming that we went through a case
that big, charged that many people and we still have
a significant amount of high grade meth coming through.
Investigative Coordinator for the West Central MEG
Unit Tom Johnson describes methamphetamines presence
in the La Crosse region as an ebb and flow.
We changed or interrupted the flow for a time but
we're not so naive to think that we stopped it, because
we did not stop it, and it continues.
The MEG unit, working with area agencies, built a
case against a large meth trafficking ring in October
And while it resulted in charges being pressed against
17 people involved .
investigators, after patting themselves on the back,
had to get right back to work.
People need to remain vigilant, and all the investigators
in all our agencies are working day to day as hard
as they always did to try and stop that flow, it just
changes directions when a certain number of people
Its still the number one issue, at least drugs found
on streets, meth by far.
it's cheap and it's accessible.
These numbers from the sheriff's department show the
number of drug charges in La Crosse County last year.
Johnson can't say whether there is less meth on the
streets a year after the big meth bust, yet.
But he believes the arrests sent a strong message.
All our communities in these 5 counties are sick and
tired of this activity.
Health educator Al Bliss says while drug arrests are
important for public safety, there's more to solving
I think continued prevention and treatment efforts
are the two most important things our community can
address with this.
Both Bliss and Johnson say part of the solution lies
in education .
and working together, to stop the flow of meth into
the region for good.
In the drug world, there needs to be a holistic approach.
We need to work together as a coalition between treatment
community, law enforcement community and the educational
It takes a village.
In LaX, MO, N8
Investigative coordinator Tom Johnson says he's noticed
that more people are interested in getting information
and law agencies have done more presentations on the
danger of drugs over the past year.
The La Crosse County Prevention Network is sponsoring
a Getting to kNOw Meth and Marijuana session Friday
morning from 8 a.m.
to in the afternoon at Viterbo.
The presentation is for business leaders and professionals
and is free to attend.
For more information or to R-S-V-P, call 608-785-9855.