La Crosse police seize record amount of fentanyl, arrest three
Street value of the 454.3 grams of fentanyl estimated at $45,000
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse police seized a new record amount of fentanyl to culminate a major drug investigation during which they also arrested three suspects — two of whom attempted to escape through an apartment window.
La Crosse police drug investigators were surveilling an apartment in the 1900 block of Miller Street on the city’s South Side Wednesday when suspect Jesse J. Stringer left in a vehicle, according to a police department news release.
Police conducted a traffic stop and took Stringer into custody at the same time the La Crosse Police Emergency Response Team executed a “knock-and-announce” warrant at Stringer’s residents.
Two people in the apartment — Caprice Washington and Jerrad Simms — jumped out a window in an attempt to escape, according to police. Officers and K9 Loki apprehended the pair.
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.
Investigators also recovered a loaded .380-caliber pistol and $15,600 in cash, the news release said.
The investigation and bust took a huge amount of the deadly fentanyl off the streets at a time when the city of La Crosse is observing a spike in overdoses and deaths related to suspected fentanyl/opioid use.
To put the amounts of fentanyl seized into perspective, 454 grams of fentanyl is equal to 454,000 milligrams. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, 2 milligrams amounts to a lethal dose.
Stringer had been out on several felony bonds for previous narcotics trafficking and being a felon possessing a firearm. Stringer and Simms were arrested together early last year on La Crosse’s North Side and are on bond in connection with that case.
Charges evolving from this investigation include the following:
- Stringer, 33, of La Crosse, manufacture/delivery of Schedule I and I narcotics; possession of heroin with intent to deliver; maintaining a drug-trafficking place; misdemeanor bail jumping; felony bail jumping; possession of cocaine with intent, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
- Washington, 42, of Park Forest, Ill. , 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.
- Simms, 35, of Park Forest, Ill., possession of THC with intent to deliver; possession of narcotics with intent to deliver; possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, and maintaining a drug-trafficking place.