Slide Show: Mugshots and more arrests in three county meth traff - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Slide Show: Mugshots and more arrests in three county meth trafficking operation

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Viroqua, WI (WXOW) - -

Three more people are arrested in connection with a methamphetamine conspiracy and drug trafficking operation centered in Vernon County.

Sheriff John Spears said Friday afternoon that the additional arrests were made in the past 24 hours which brings the total number of people in custody in the case to 16. 

The new arrests were: 

  • Jeremy Gudgeon, 30, of La Farge
  • Daniel Ames, 31, or rural Viroqua
  • John Hagerty, 51, of rural De Soto

Spears said that the investigation continues with more arrests likely. 


Thirteen people in Vernon, La Crosse, and Crawford counties are in custody after authorities break up what they're calling a large scale methamphetamine conspiracy.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said Thursday afternoon that the arrests came after a yearlong investigation.

Investigators from Vernon County, the La Farge Police Department, and the West Central MEG Unit worked to build the case. 

During the past year, Sheriff Spears said that informants and undercover agents made dozens of controlled purchases of high grade crystal methamphetamine along with opioid pain killers. 

One example cited by Sheriff Spears was a search warrant in La Farge that found methamphetamine and trafficking paraphernalia.

The names of those arrested include:

  • Paul Buckta, age 33, of La Farge
  • Bobbie Shanahan, age 32, of La Farge
  • Jon Fanta, age 52, of Viroqua
  • Gregory Branville, age19, of Westby
  • William Magruder, age 53, of Coon Valley
  • Garrett L. Mikkelson, age 29, of Viroqua
  • Tabitha Ricci, age 25, of Viroqua
  • Kevin Larson, age 51, of Coon Valley
  • Dusti Higley, age 30, of Ontario
  • Travis Barclay, age 33, of La Farge
  • Albert Galindo, age 53, of Viola
  • Joe Woyczik, age 42, of Holmen
  • Morgan Krambeer, age 19, of Genoa

Sheriff Spears said the arrests were made in three counties in cooperation with the Crawford and La Crosse County Sherrif's Offices. 

Additional arrests are expected as the investigation continues. 

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