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Drug investigation leads to large drug bust at La Crosse hotel

$60,000 in meth seized in bust

Drug investigation leads to large...

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - La Crosse police conducted what they said is one of the biggest methamphetamine busts in the department's history.

Sandy Xiong of Onalaska, as well as Michael Xiong of Holmen, and Jess Miedema of Onalaska, were all arrested Tuesday on possession with intent to deliver meth.

Sandy Xiong was also charged with delivery of methamphetamine.

The bust happened at the Candlewood Suites on Copeland Avenue in La Crosse Tuesday.

Police said the street value of the drugs is more than $60,000.

La Crosse police centered their investigation on Sandy Xiong, whom investigators believed was a potential methamphetamine dealer.

"By working with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the MEG unit, they did a little bit of surveillance and determined she had been selling both out of her residence in Onalaska, and in a hotel room in La Crosse,” Capt. Jason Melby, of the La Crosse police, said.

La Crosse police obtained a search warrant Tuesday evening for a room at the Candlewood Suites. Inside the hotel room, police said they found roughly one and a half pounds of meth, over $2,700 in cash and as drug paraphernalia.

"When you start talking about $60,000 worth of product, a ledger that showed they had done $20,000 worth of possible drug sales in the community, this is a very large, for-profit drug dealer,” Melby said.

Candlewood Suites general manager Mark Hughes said the hotel participated in La Crosse PD's hotel interdiction training, which helps staff look out for potential drug dealers in hotels, but Hughes said the group displayed none of the red flags.

"If they're paying with cash, which is something that they did not do in this situation,” Hughes said. “If they are checking in and out really frequently, which is another thing that they did not do in this situation, and if there's a lot of people coming in and out asking for a particular room, that didn't happen either."

Police also found a 4-month-old child at the scene, following a pattern in the city recently.

"We've had several drug search warrants where we execute the search warrant, and there's children inside the residence with needles and very dangerous drugs,” Melby said.

Police are confident that the bust makes the community safer.

"These are the people that are bringing large amounts of methamphetamine in here, poisoning our community, breaking it up, selling it to other dealers, and infecting other neighborhoods,” Melby said. “This is a very good bust, a lot of good work by our investigators, and just a really good net result."

The child was taken into protective services following the arrest.

Police said cooperation between the MEG unit and La Crosse Police was critical in this investigation.

All three are being held in La Crosse County Jail.

Miedema is being held on a $5,000 cash bond.

Sandy Xiong is being held on a $10,000 cash bond and Michael Xiong is being held on a $2,500 cash bond.

Both Sandy and Michael Xiong are also being detained on a probationary hold by the Department of Corrections.

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