Marijuana grow site revealed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marijuana grow site revealed


Newsline 9 was invited to tour a marijuana grow site that was busted last week in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Six people are facing federal drug charges. They were in court today.

All of them pleaded not guilty, each facing ten years in prison.

Five of them are accused of being in the United States illegally.

It all starts with a strenuous hike through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. About one mile away from the closest paved road—a grow site.

That's where more than 8,000 marijuana plants were removed last week.

"When the growers are here, they're living on site. Lots of garbage left behind from day to day living," U.S. Forest Service PR Officer Suzanne Flory said.

Now forest officials have to clean up.

"It's a huge job. It could take days to haul all the garbage out of here," Flory said.

Authorities say grow sites usually have may dug up holes in a clearing.

"Really remote, easy to get away from people and not be found," Flory said.

For the last three summers, marijuana grow sites have been found in that forest. But this year's are a little more spread out.
"The sites are smaller, although there are more of them, much more secluded," District Forest Ranger Jeff Seefeldt said.

And that's why officials say growers choose these locations. Police were able to bust this site because of a tip from a fisherman.

"The public gets our here a lot more than we get out here and so whatever information they can give us is incredible important," Seefeldt said.

Forest leaders say the clean-up costs are tied back to tax payers because it's all public land.

Authorities say it's hard to put a price on how much the clean-up costs—but that it takes forest officials away from their other responsibilities.



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