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Large marijuana-Growing Operation in Buffalo County Busted

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Wisconsin officials have found a clandestine marijuana-growing operation spread over a quarter-mile deep in the swamps of the Tiffany Wildlife Area near Nelson, Wis.

Police netted three pounds of marijuana but may have just missed one of the largest busts in Buffalo County history. When police arrived Thursday, most of the 2,000 marijuana plants had already been harvested. Each plant would have been valued between $1,000 and $4,000, meaning the operation was worth between $2 million and $8 million.

The operation was complex, with generators, pumps, hoses and fertilizer used to grow and process the marijuana. Living quarters had been constructed under the tree canopy. And police found what they suspect were the remnants of booby traps.

"It's hard to say at this point" whether the growers were part of an organized crime ring, Buffalo County Sheriff Mike Schmidtknecht said. "They were organized. Let's put it that way."

Police had made no arrests as of Friday but said they were examining trash found at the site that could help them identify the growers.

Members of the sheriff's office, West Central Drug Task Force, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources raided the site Thursday after a hunter and a DNR employee independently found the operation earlier in the week, Schmidtknecht said. The site is about two miles north of Nelson, about 15 minutes from Hwy. 35 and accessible by boat.

It is the third major marijuana operation found recently on Wisconsin public land. A hunter found about 8,000 plants this month in eastern Wisconsin. And last year authorities found another 9,000 plants in the northern part of the state.

Schmidtknecht warned that hunters who come across possible marijuana farms should back out of the area and call police.



News Hawk- Weedpipe 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source:Winona Daily News
Author: Nolan Rosenkrans
Contact: Winona Daily News
Copyright: 2009, winonadailynews.com
Website:Large marijuana-growing operation in Buffalo County busted
 
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