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WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TEAMS UP WITH SHAWANO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND OTHER LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE ERADICATION OF A MAJOR MARIJUANA GROW OPERATION
8,000 Marijuana Plants Removed
TOWN OF NAVARINO - 8,000 marijuana plants were eradicated in a law enforcement operation that began yesterday morning at 6 a.m. within the boundaries of the Navarino Wildlife Refuge.
"It was one of the largest marijuana grow operations ever discovered in Wisconsin, and definitely one of the most detailed camp sites," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
The eradication exercise removed approximately 8,000 marijuana plants from 12 separate grow sites. In addition to the removal and destruction of the plants 4 separate camp and work sites were processed for evidence and subsequently dismantled. An evaluation of the scene indicated that the criminal operation had been abandoned for some time, and that a substantial amount of marijuana had been harvested prior to law enforcement being alerted to its presence by an anonymous tip from a hunter who provided the coordinates of the area.
The eradication operation involved 78 law enforcement officials from 8 local, state and federal agencies, including: the Shawano County Sheriff's Office, Clintonville Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, Waupaca County Sheriff's Office, Oconto County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the DEA.
Members of the public are encouraged to report suspicious growing operations or unusual campsites to their local law enforcement agency. These sites should be considered dangerous and individuals finding themselves in such surroundings should leave immediately.
The size, scope and elaborate nature of these types of grow sites and camps have become a growing problem throughout Wisconsin over the past few years. Local, state and federal officials continue to work together on addressing these types of grow operations.
"On behalf of the Shawano County Sheriff's Office and this community I wish to offer may thanks to all the individuals who assisted in coordinating and seeing this operation through to completion," said Shawano County Sheriff Randy Wright. "This activity remains under investigation with yesterday's activity being only one portion of a much larger inquiry."
Several pictures from yesterday's operation will be available later today on the Shawano County Sheriff Department's website at http://www.co.shawano.wi.us/departments/?department=caa27d351746&subdepartment=37af9f2fe6b8.
Media inquiries should be directed to Sheriff Wright at (715) 526-3111.