Posted at: 10/10/2013 11:41 AM
Updated at: 10/11/2013 11:30 AM
The Burnett County Sheriff's Department found over 3,000 plants worth tens of thousands of dollars on Tuesday.
Deputies said the grow is larger and more sophisticated than typical grows. The grow was found on public land in the town of Anderson, which is south of Grantsburg. Hunters found the plants and informed the sheriff's department.
Chief Deputy Scott Burns said without that tip the marijuana would have gone unnoticed in the brush and trees.
“The way they had the plants spaced out in the grow it would have been virtually impossible to spot this grow from aerial surveillance,” Burns said.
He said the suspects put a lot of effort into nearly 3,300 plants.
“It makes this one unique first off due to the size and number of plants. This site had an extensive irrigation system with hand dug holding ponds to hold water and gasoline powered pumps and a tubing network that supplied water to every single plant individually,” Burns said.
Investigators will check to see if this grow is related to another large operation found in neighboring Pine County this summer. Over 5,000 plants were found in that bust, which was located about 40 miles away.
No suspects were found during either bust, but Burns said investigators found a smal camp with abandoned equipment in Burnett County.
Burns said the plants were dehydrated, which suggests the grow was abandoned recently. It also means the value of the plants found was lower than healthy plants.
“If they had been tended though the season certainly a lot higher street value, but even in the condition of the plants we seized we would estimate tens of thousands of dollars in street value of marijuana,” Burns said.
He said the department will continue an investigation into the grow and search for suspects. The Polk and St. Croix Sheriff's Departments helped in the bust along with the Wisconsin DNR.