UPDATE: Charges dropped against one of three in drug bust for lack of proof
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Five felony charges have been dismissed against one of three men arrested during a drug bust in October in which La Crosse police seized a record amount of fentanyl.
The La Crosse County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against 42-year-old Caprice Washington of Park Forest, Ill., “in the interest of justice,” according to court records.
The counts were dismissed during a Zoom hearing Nov. 11, with La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Gloria Doyle presiding. Court records mention “regarding discovery” as a factor in the dismissal.
Washington had been charged with manufacture/delivery of Schedule I and II narcotics, maintaining a drug-trafficking place, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver; possession of THC with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with the Oct. 13 incident.
Washington and Jerrad Simms jumped out of an apartment window in the 1900 block of Miller Street on the city’s South Side to elude investigators, police reported at the time.
That occurred shortly after drug investigators arrested Jesse J. Stringer during a traffic stop near the apartment, police said.
A search of the apartment uncovered large amounts of drugs, including 454.3 grams of fentanyl, 34.6 grams of cocaine and 439 grams of marijuana. Police estimated the street value of the fentanyl alone at $45,000.
The previous record fentanyl bust occurred early in September, when police seized 111.5 grams.
Contributing factors in dismissing Washington’s charges involved “issues of being able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was involved in the trafficking given the facts that we have at this point,” according to assistant district attorney Danielle Kranz, prosecutor at the hearing.
Charges remain against the 33-year-old Stringer, of La Crosse, and 35-year-old Simms, of Park Forest.