Alleged meth dealer part of October sting arrested again while out on bail

Kojoua Vu was one of 17 charged back in October

A La Crosse woman out on bond for drug charges was arrested again this week for allegedly selling methamphetamine, and that has many people asking questions about why she was not still in jail in the first place.

La Crosse olice arrested KoJoua Vu, 26, Monday while executing a search warrant on the 700 block of Oakland Street in La Crosse.

Vu was arrested earlier this year in connection with a large drug conspiracy investigation announced last October. In that bust, 17 people were charged with conspiring to deliver meth. Vu was out on a $5,000 cash bond from that run-in with police, but police said she continued to sell until she was arrested again Monday.

Vu was arrested at her apartment in La Crosse where police found more than a half pound of meth — with a street value estimated at $15,000 — as well as $20,000 in cash.

La Crosse police Capt. Jason Melby said members of the drug ring Vu was part of contacted her and encouraged her to continue doing business while they were in jail.

“So obviously she did that,” Melby said.

Melby said this was a large and organized drug ring, with meth coming from Mexico to the Twin Cities, then driven to La Crosse — so he said it’s not surprising Vu is still dealing, even though she was out on bond.

Melby says it’s not uncommon to run into people while they are out on bond, but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the justice system in the La Crosse County.

“I don’t want to make it sound as if we expected the DA’s office or the judges to have the foresight to see that this is going to happen, and I’m sure that they’re disappointed as well as we are with having to deal with this individual again for such a significant charge,” Melby said.

Attorney Cheryl Gill said bail is used to make sure a defendant appears in court, protects the community from harm, and prevent the intimidation of witnesses, and most people comply.

“Nine times out of 10, $5,000 would have been plenty,” Gill said.

Gill said it’s also much more expensive to house someone in jail than it is to provide treatment or electronic monitoring for that person in the community.

“Judges have to make discretionary decision, that’s what decision making is all about, it’s not perfect and it never will be perfect,” Gill said.

Melby said said this arrest of Vu was a “quick moving investigation.” He said within two days of getting information Vu was selling meth, it executed the search warrant and she was arrested, adding normally these investigations can take months.

Vu will be in court Wednesday morning.

The La Crosse Police Department said this arrest is a separate case from her prior arrest earlier this year.

Vu is charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, delivery of meth, warehousing drugs, felony bail jumping, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A second female, Douazhong Vu, 24, was also taken into custody and charged as part of this incident.

A supply of synthetic urine was also seized during the search. Police speculate that this was used to help Kojoua circumvent court-ordered drug testing through Justice Support Services.

Kojoua was currently out on bond for previous offenses and continued to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in the area. On March 21, La Crosse Police Lt. Matt Malott testified at Kojoua Vu’s preliminary hearing that other members of the conspiracy who were still in jail had encouraged her to “keep the business running.”