The Wisconsin DNR and Wisconsin Department of Justice want to remind people spending time outdoors to be cautious if they come across illegal drug-growing operations in remote areas of the state.
The DNR says while several large grows have been found and removed recently, there may still be more growing operations on remote public and private lands with some growers potentially armed.
“Even though local, state and federal law enforcement authorities have successfully teamed up and addressed several large grows on public and private lands, it's important people continue to be vigilant,” Wisconsin Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark said.
“Ultimately, we want to prevent these grows from ever taking hold and the drugs from winding up on the street, but we need the public’s help in reporting what they see if something that strikes them as suspicious," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.
Officials say people should be aware of the following:
• Signs of activity or items that suggest someone is living in an area. This includes huts, tents, irrigation hoses, watering jugs and chemical containers; and,
• Signs of disturbed vegetation, such as abnormal cuttings or the clearing of small areas.
If suspicious activity is found, notify local law enforcement. The WDNR also operates a confidential tip line staffed round-the-clock for reporting suspected or observed illegal activity. The number is 1-800-TIP-WDNR(1-800-847-9367 or cell #367). You also can call the DCI toll-free at 1-800-NAB-DRUG (1-800-622-3784)
The DNR urges people to not investigate a potential site themselves. It says back out of the area the way you entered, and if possible, record anything you observe such as vehicle descriptions, license or registration numbers from vehicles, and GPS coordinates.