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Ex-La Crosse cop gets jail time for stealing drugs from evidence

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - Former La Crosse Police Lieutenant Brian Thomson will spend three months in jail for stealing and taking drugs that officers seized as evidence.

Visiting Judge Todd Ziegler also sentenced the 44-year-old Thomson Tuesday to three months under electronic monitoring, as part of a three-year probation term.

Ziegler said Thomson put a "black eye" on the La Crosse police force and betrayed the public's trust. He admitted stealing and using methamphetamines three times.

An audit later showed that 63 packages of drug evidence were tampered with -- including meth, cocaine, heroin, and prescription medicines.

Officials said the tampered evidence resulted in two drug cases being dropped against other defendants -- and other such cases are still pending.

Police began investigating Thomson last June, when his captain discovered that he made unauthorized visits to the evidence storage area. In August, he was given a bag of fake evidence to process -- and he was arrested after stealing the drugs from that package.

Thomson ended up pleading guilty to his original charge of attempted illegal narcotics possession. A plea deal kept him out of a state prison.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)