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Fentanyl seizure 'enough to kill all of La Crosse County, going on twice,' prosecutor says
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Fentanyl seizure 'enough to kill all of La Crosse County, going on twice,' prosecutor says

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Three people were arrested in La Crosse after the La Crosse Police Department made its second major fentanyl bust in less than two months.

Police arrested Jesse J. Stringer, 33, La Crosse, and Jerrad A. Simms, 35, and Caprice Washington, 43, both of Park View, Illinois, on Tuesday.

Police reported seizing 454.3 grams of fentanyl, which it describes as “the largest fentanyl seizure in La Crosse County.” It’s more than three times the amount of fentanyl seized by La Crosse police during a pair of August drug busts.

The bust occurred at Stringer’s 1905 Miller St. address. According to police, Stringer left the residence and drove away before police pursued him and conducted a traffic stop. As Stringer was taken into custody, the police department’s emergency response team executed a “knock and announce” warrant at Stringer’s residence. The apartment was occupied by Washington and Simms, who attempted to flee by jumping through a window. Both were taken into custody with the help of a K9 unit.

Police conducted a search of the apartment. In addition to the fentanyl, police reportedly found 34.6 grams of cocaine and 439 grams of marijuana. Investigators also recovered a loaded .380 pistol and $15,600 in cash.

Stringer, Simms and Washington all face charges of maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Stringer also faces charges of possession of heroin with intent to deliver, possession of narcotics with intent to deliver, felon in possession of firearm and two counts of bail jumping. He also has several felony bonds for narcotics trafficking.

Simms also faces charges of possession of narcotics with intent to deliver and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Washington also faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

La Crosse County assistant District Attorney Danielle Kranz asked for significant bail for all three defendants. During Wednesday’s bond-only hearing, she described the suspects as “high level, for-profit drug dealers.”

The street value of the fentanyl is estimated at $45,000. Two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, and Kranz said the 450,000 milligrams seized are “enough to kill all of La Crosse County, going on twice.”

Judge Todd Bjerke set a cash bond of $100,000 for Stringer and a $25,000 cash bond for Simms.

Bjerke set a $25,000 signature bond for Washington but ordered him held pending an extradition request from Tennessee.

All three are scheduled for an initial appearance Friday after the criminal complaint is filed.

La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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