MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that James Dean, 37, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 10 ½ years in federal prison for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
On February 5, 2020, La Crosse police officers received a tip from an informant that Dean was at a gas station. Officers were aware that Dean had an active felony arrest warrant. Officers responded to the gas station and saw Dean get into the passenger side of a car. As the car left the gas station, officers attempted a traffic stop but Dean ran out of the car. During a brief foot pursuit, Dean ran full speed into a picnic table and flipped into the air. After Dean hit the ground, officers were able to arrest him after a short struggle.
During a search incident to the arrest, officers found multiple bags in Dean’s pockets containing a total of 58 grams of methamphetamine. Officers searched the area around Dean and found a loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun. Officers also searched the vehicle in which Dean was a passenger and found 219 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside of a laptop case.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Peterson expressed his displeasure that the crime involved a large amount of methamphetamine, a loaded firearm, and resisting arrest. Judge Peterson noted that Dean has a “really horrible” criminal history, including over 20 felony convictions, and was involved in selling a significant amount of methamphetamine to the La Crosse community. Judge Peterson also stated that Dean was participating in criminal activity at a high level and the 10 ½ year sentence was necessary to protect the public.
The charge against Dean was a result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner.