MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Corey J. Stern, 36, La Crosse, Wisconsin was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 90 months in federal prison for possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. This prison term will be followed by 4 years of supervised release. Stern pleaded guilty to this charge on March 3, 2022.
On August 10, 2020, La Crosse Police Department (LCPD) officers purchased 17.6 grams of methamphetamine and 4.4 grams of heroin from Stern through a confidential informant (CI) in La Crosse. Two days later, LCPD officers purchased 43.4 grams of methamphetamine from Stern through a CI in La Crosse. Later that day, Stern was arrested. He had $4,803 in cash on his person that included prerecorded buy money from the controlled buys on August 10 and 12.
Stern’s hotel room subsequently was searched pursuant to a warrant, and officers found small quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, and LSD, as well as scales and packaging supplies. Stern was interviewed by law enforcement. He admitted to distributing pounds of methamphetamine for several months. He estimated making $2,000 to $,4000 per week from drug sales.
Stern was charged in state court and remained in custody until November 25, 2020, when he was released from custody on a signature bond.
On January 13, 2021, LCPD officers purchased 32.6 grams of methamphetamine from Stern through a CI in La Crosse.
On June 3, 2021, a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop for speeding on a vehicle in which Stern was a passenger. The vehicle was searched after a K-9 alerted to the odor of an illegal drug. In a bag on the front passenger floorboard where Stern had been seated, officers found a loaded Glock 45 9mm handgun, three loaded Glock 9mm magazines, and a bag of methamphetamine. A safe in the trunk, opened by a key found in Stern’s wallet, contained additional bags of methamphetamine. A total of 176.1 grams of methamphetamine was located between the bag and safe.
At sentencing, Judge Conley highlighted that Stern continued to sell methamphetamine even after being arrested and released on bond for methamphetamine trafficking charges. He noted that Stern’s conduct escalated in severity over the course of the case itself. Judge Conley explained that Stern continues to be a danger to the community because of his repeated pattern of criminality.
The charge against Stern was the result of an investigation conducted by the Campbell, La Crosse, and Mauston Police Departments, Juneau County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Juneau and La Crosse County District Attorney’s Offices also provided assistance in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson prosecuted this case.