Marijuana grow sites becoming more common in WI - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marijuana grow sites becoming more common in WI

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OCONTO COUNTY (WAOW) -

The clean-up of marijuana plants in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is now finished. That's a day after authorities started hauling close to 8,400 plants, worth $8.5 million dollars. Six people are facing federal drug charges.

They appeared in court today. A judge ruled all six will remain in jail while they wait for trial. Five were in the United States illegally.

Prosecutors are asking for a minimum of 10 years to life.

Helicopters removed marijuana plants in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Wednesday. But this isn't the first time. Investigators say it's the third drug bust in the forest in the past three years.

"Sites like these are hard to detect," Forest Service Public Affairs officer Suzanne Flory said.

Law enforcement officials say marijuana grow sites are becoming a big problem in our state.

"Statistically, we're not going to find them all. We're probably finding a relatively small percentage of them. So you have to figure there's more out there and that's why we really want to urge the public," Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Ed Wall said.

These sites can be dangerous if someone finds one.

"When you're talking about $8 million worth of product, people get killed for a lot less," Wall said.

"The number one thing they need to do is leave the area right away, report it," Flory said.

Forest officials say growers choose these areas because they are far away from the public. But that doesn't make them any less dangerous.

As summer turns to fall, law enforcement officials say some growing sites may be left behind. That's why they urge the public to always use caution and look for anything suspicious.

 

 

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