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UPDATE: Audit: 63 drug packets potentially tampered with

UPDATED Monday, January 27, 2014 --- 6:04 p.m.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- La Crosse police found more than 60 packages of illegal drugs and prescription pills that may have been tampered with in the evidence room after a lieutenant was arrested in August.

The report was released Monday under a La Crosse Tribune open records request.

Former Lt. Brian Thomson admitted stealing and using methamphetamine from the evidence room at least three times last year. He was arrested and resigned Aug. 13 after a sting set up by his department.

Thomson's captain wrote that during an audit of drugs stored in the evidence room, he identified 63 packages containing heroin, meth, cocaine or prescription pills where the envelope or tape appeared tampered with.

Thomson pleaded guilty to attempted possession of narcotic drugs without a prescription. Sentencing is set for Feb. 25.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, December 10, 2013 --- 10:21 a.m.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- A former La Crosse lieutenant accused of stealing drugs from the police evidence room has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Forty-four-year-old Brian Thomson has pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted possession of narcotic drugs without a prescription. The conviction means Thomson will never be allowed to own a firearm or work as a police officer.

The La Crosse Police Department began investigating Thomson in June when his captain learned he was helping log evidence when he was not authorized to do so. The La Crosse Tribune says Thomson was arrested and resigned from the force Aug. 13.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, October 23, 2013 --- 12:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Justice Department has charged a former La Crosse Police lieutenant with trying to steal pain pills.

The agency filed one felony count of attempted possession of narcotics against Brian Thomson on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, the department grew suspicious of Thomson after he started helping clerks log evidence and asking co-workers for pain medication.

Assistant Police Chief Rob Abraham asked Thomson in August to log a duffel bag that held a bottle of fake Oxycontin pills. Abraham later discovered the pills were missing from the bag. Thomson told a DOJ agent that he ingested the pills. He also said he took methamphetamine evidence and ingested it at least three times.

Thomson resigned after he was arrested in August. Online court records didn't list a defense attorney.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, August 14, 2013 --- 4:02 p.m.
Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013 --- 12:46 p.m.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- A La Crosse police lieutenant has been arrested on possible criminal charges.

Brian Thomson appeared in court Wednesday and is free on a $5,000 signature bond. The La Crosse Tribune reports Thomson was arrested Tuesday and faces possible charges of misconduct and attempted possession of narcotic drugs.

La Crosse police began an investigation into Thomson, then turned it over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Police Chief Ron Tischer says the officer's actions are "unsettling and in direct contrast to the principles embraced by our members."

A special prosecutor will be brought in to avoid conflicts.

Thomson has submitted his resignation. He was a 15-year veteran of the La Crosse Police Department. WXOW-TV reports his attorney declined to comment after Wednesday's hearing.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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