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Bulletproof gets licensed and will resume work in Penokees

The state granted Bulletproof Securities a license to operate in the state Monday.

Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) has announced that the security firm that guarded exploratory drill sites in northern Wisconsin while dressed in camouflage and carrying assault rifles will resume its work.

Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities had to leave the Penokee Hills and the proposed iron ore mine site July 10, once the state found out they were operating without a license. Now, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services has issued that license.

Department Secretary Dave Ross says Bulletproof can come back anytime now, and that an investigation of two or three complaints against the company is complete.

GTAC spokesman Bob Seitz says Bulletproof guards will return in rotation with other security firms they've hired.

"Bulletproof brings an ability to go into the woods and make sure the entire area of private property is secured," says Seitz.

Bulletproof guards had been patrolling exploratory drilling sites and the area around it. Drilling ended about the same time Bulletproof was asked to leave the state, but Seitz says there's still work to be done in the Penokee Hills by GTAC surveyors.

"We have wetlands delineation, archeological delineation, hydrological work, surface water work, a lot of delineation of plant and animal species -- things like that," says Seitz. "There's a lot of individual work that goes on, just nothing that's around one particular site."

Seitz says GTAC won't announce exactly when Bulletproof will return or if they'll come back in their desert camouflage uniforms.

The state investigation will be turned over to the Iron County District Attorney's Office. The district attorney will decide whether Bulletproof, GTAC or the property owners violated state law.