Officers recognized for work to eradicate drugsAttorney General J.B. Van Hollen praised local, state and federal law enforcement officers involved in a large-scale, year-long cocaine and marijuana drug trafficking investigation spanning southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen praised local, state and federal law enforcement officers involved in a large-scale, year-long cocaine and marijuana drug trafficking investigation spanning southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Individuals from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Rockford Police Department in Illinois, Beloit Police Department, Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Attorney’s Office-Western District of Wisconsin were recognized for “Investigation of the Year” during the Wisconsin Narcotics Officers Association awards banquet Aug. 23 in Green Bay.
To date, at least 10 people have been arrested, and investigators have seized cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and more than $1 million in U.S. currency in this investigation.
“I’m extremely proud of the work of the DOJ’s special agents and thankful for the cooperation of our local and federal partners,” Van Hollen said. “The volume of drugs and currency seized as part of this investigation, while significant, pales in comparison to the devastating, life-altering effect drugs have on our communities. But, through these joint efforts, we can ensure justice prevails.”
Other investigations to receive honorable mention at the awards banquet include a large-scale marijuana grow operation in the Nicolet Chequamegon National Forest discovered in fall 2010. An eradication effort in August 2011, after weeks of surveillance, destroyed more than 9,400 plants. Each of the six defendants charged as a result was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Agencies involved in this investigation include DCI, DEA, the U.S. Forest Service, FBI, sheriff’s offices in Sawyer, Ashland, Douglas and Washburn counties, the Wisconsin National Guard Intelligence Analyst and the U.S. Attorney’s Office-Western District of Wisconsin.
The WNOA awards committee also recognized with an honorable mention an investigation that began in March 2011 into synthetic cannabinoids, “K-2,” and synthetic cathinoine, or “bath salts.”
In October 2011, during the execution of several search warrants in northwestern Wisconsin, investigators uncovered compounds and finished product, approximately $65,000 in U.S. currency, gold and silver coins and firearms. Agents and investigators were recognized from DEA, ICE, sheriff’s offices in Sawyer and Washburn counties, DCI, Eau Claire Police Department, the Wisconsin National Guard Intelligence Analyst, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Wisconsin.