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Deputy arrests driver found sleeping in car


Woman faces meth-related charges

Melissa L. Abel, 48, Ladysmith, is charged with possession of methamphetamine, a second offense of operating a vehicle with a restricted controlled substance, one count each of felony and misdemeanor bail jumping, operating a vehicle while revoked, failure to install an ignition interlock device and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, July 8, Waupaca County Deputy Adam LaBrosse responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.

When he arrived, LaBrosse found a security guard standing outside a red sports utility vehicle in a parking lot. The vehicle was running and its lights were on. The female driver, later identified as Abel, appeared to be sleeping.

According to the criminal complaint, LaBrosse opened the door to check on Abel’s condition. He reported seeing a small plastic gem bag on the center console. There was a crystal-like substance in the bag.

A subsequent records check indicated that Abel’s license was revoked and her vehicle was required to have an ignition interlock device due to a prior OWI conviction in Eau Claire County.

LaBrosse reported that Abel appeared drowsy and her speech was slow. She denied drinking alcohol and reportedly said she had used meth about 6-7 hours earlier while she was at home in Ladysmith.

Visiting family in King

She said she gave her mother a ride from Ladysmith to King to visit her father, the complaint says.

LaBrosse transported Abel to ThedaCare in Waupaca.

While waiting for a blood draw, Abel reportedly said, “What’s the point in doing this if we know I’m going to test dirty?”

The crystalline substance found in her car tested positive for meth.

At the time of her arrest, Abel was out on bonds for multiple Rusk County charges that include possession of meth, operating while revoked, felony and misdemeanor bail jumping, failure to install an IID, criminal damage and disorderly conduct as acts of domestic abuse.

The conditions of her bonds stipulated that she not possess or consume illegal substances and not operate a vehicle with a valid license.

Abel was released from custody in Waupaca County on a $2,000 signature bond.

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