Gogebic Taconite Temporarily Pulls Armed Guards

Posted at: 07/10/2013 4:07 PM
Updated at: 07/10/2013 10:40 PM

Photo: Rob Ganson

Photo: Rob Ganson

Photo: Rob Ganson

Gogebic Taconite has pulled armed guards from its drilling sites in northern Wisconsin but says the move is temporary.

The company had been using guards with military-style weapons from Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities at its drilling sites in Iron and Ashland Counties.  However, it was learned Wednesday that the company is not licensed in Wisconsin.

"We understand they have applied for the appropriate Wisconsin license but not yet had their application approved," said Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams in a prepsared statment.  "GTac has suspended use of this copany's services at our site until the necessary approvals have been granted."

Gogebic hired Bulletproof Securities after a protest last month led to criminal charges against a demonstrator. Mining equipment was damaged and a cellphone and camera were taken.

Images of the guards posted online Monday prompted outrage from mining opponents.  Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), whose districts include the site, had asked G-Tac to pull the guards.

GTac also uses security from a local company and sheriff's offices.

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