Wednesday - June 21, 2017 6:03 pm

Police brass call out judges over lenient sentencing Featured

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Raymond Lewis, 37, was one of three arrested by La Crosse police Tuesday night in a drug raid on South Ave. Raymond Lewis, 37, was one of three arrested by La Crosse police Tuesday night in a drug raid on South Ave.

Drug raid Tuesday caught a repeat offender who was released last March.

Again, La Crosse police are expressing frustration over lenient sentencing in the city has been for some repeat criminals. 

It goes on too often for those who really know how to work the system, La Crosse assistant police chief Rob Abraham said Tuesday afternoon on WIZM (listen below).

"The game being played nowadays, by the drug dealers and the defense attorneys is, if you get caught with that pound of meth, you just go in and say, 'I'm addicted and I'm just selling to support my habit,'" Abraham said.

The latest focus for Abraham is 37-year-old Raymond Lewis, who was sent to prison in 2012 for drug dealing and injuring an officer. He's been out since early March but arrested, again, with lots of drugs and a gun in a La Crosse police raid at a South Ave. apartment Tuesday night. 

La Crosse police, which arrested two others in the raid, feel these repeat offenders are getting let off the hook too easy in the county. 

"These are the people that the community is afraid of," Abraham said. "These are the people that deserve harsh sentences and, quite frankly, it appears that the judges in this community, and in this county, can't break themselves down to do that."

Abraham expressed his frustration on Twitter on Wednesday, as well.

Abraham says Lewis is an example of someone for whom the community wants harsh sentences.  

"And we wonder why there's (200,000-plus) needles being distributed," Abraham said. "They're being found everywhere in the community. And there's just one heroin overdose, meth overdose after another."

Abraham also pointed out that Lewis' situation isn't one of your typical drug cases.

"This isn't a case where we're talking about rehabilitation and the other criminal programs that we come up with," Abraham said. "This is a multiple, repeat offender with a gun."

Abraham complains that Raymond Lewis got far too light of sentence when he was sent to prison back in 2012 for drug dealing and hurting a cop. 

In the press release about the drug raid Tuesday, it began, "The La Crosse Police Department is disgusted that once again we have arrested yet another repeat offender for dealing narcotics in the La Crosse community."

Later in the release, Abraham stated: “I challenge the La Crosse County criminal justice system to send a clear message that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated.  It is time we start putting the concerns of our community’s safety before the concerns of the offender. In 2012, the State (Prosecutor) asked for 22 years confinement, and the presiding judge only gave Mr. Lewis six years, apparently that wasn’t enough.”

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Last modified on Thursday - June 22, 2017 1:27 pm
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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