Former La Crosse Police Lieutenant Brian Thomson admitted to removing drug evidence from the department and using the drugs, according to a criminal complaint.
Thomson appeared in La Crosse County Court Wednesday afternoon. He has been charged with attempted possession of schedule II narcotic drugs without a prescription.
A special agent from the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint against Thomson on October 17. The criminal complaint states that around the last week in June, La Crosse Police Captain Shawn Kudron told Assistant Chief Rob Abraham that there may be a possible concern with Thomson accessing the property room and assisting the clerks with evidence logging. This was not part of Thomson’s normal duties.
Thomson had asked officers about their pain medications from surgeries and if they had any left-over medications, the complaint states. Abraham also found out that in the past Thomson said he had been denied pain medication by a doctor and there was a suspicion that he was possibly abusing pain pills.
On August 11, La Crosse police placed a fake supply of Oxytocin pills in a duffel bag, the complaint states. Abraham told Thomson that earlier in the day a lady had handed the bag to him on the police back ramp, stating she found it and wanted to return it as found property. The complaint states Thomson took the bag and said he would take care of it.
Video surveillance showed Thomson going through the bag with rubber gloves. When asked later what he found, he said there was “nothing” in the bag except some socks and underwear and was going to lock it up. Later that day, Abraham opened the bag and noticed the pills were gone. On August 13, Thomson admitted he took the pills from the green duffel bag and converted them to his own personal use by ingesting them in various ways.
The complaint states Thomson also admitted to removing drug evidence (methamphetamine) from the La Crosse Police Department’s possession at least three times and using it. Thomson also admitted to experiencing a pattern of addictive behaviors.
An out of county judge needs to be assigned and Thomson's preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
Thomson's attorney Keith Belzer said Thomson has been open about what he did.
"As part of a pre-charging negotiation between the Attorney General's office and myself and Brian has been cooperating with the La Crosse Police Department, trying to help them close any open issues related to his particular situation," said Belzer.
The La Crosse Police Department has reviewed its evidence handling processes and its security procedures to ensure that all measures are taken to prevent this type of activity from occurring in the future.
“The La Crosse Police Department is grateful of the work that the District Attorney’s Office, Department of Criminal Investigation and the State Attorney General’s Office has performed over the course of this investigation," La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer said in a statement. "We are continuing to work side by side with these agencies to resolve this matter and take the necessary steps to guarantee an incident like this does not happen again.”