Police bust local pot growing operation - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Police bust local pot growing operation


Lake Hallie (Press Release from Lake Hallie P.D.) -- On Saturday November 14, 2009 Officer Travis Hakes and Ryan Kringle of the Village of Lake Hallie Police applied for and received a Search Warrant for a single family two story residence. The warrant authorized the search at 4698 138 Street about two west blocks of CTH-P just south of the City of Chippewa Falls. Officers had originally received a request to check the residence for a reported runaway juvenile. 

When officers arrived at the residence they found underage persons involved in drinking. While investigating the situation, officers obtained permission to search the home for the runaway juvenile. Officers later learned that the missing juvenile had left the residence several hours earlier. It was during the search that Officer Hakes observed in plain view what appeared to be Marijuana grow operation. 

Officer Hakes had observed a heat/grow lamp, dried green leaves, and tin foil. Officers then contacted the Chippewa County District Attorney’s Office and applied for a search warrant. While officers were still investigating the activity the male owner of the property returned to the residence. When officers had contact with the adult owner they found in his shirt pocket a green leafy substance which later tested positive for marijuana.  

The search resulted in 32 total items being seized as possible evidence of maintaining a drug trafficking place. These items included smoking materials and devices that had traces of THC, U.S. Currency, Marijuana, prescription medications, and items commonly used in the growing and distribution of Marijuana. 

The two married owners of the property are Becky (age 50) and Jeffrey (age 63) Nelson. Both have been arrested for Possession of THC and Maintaining Drug Trafficking Place and transported to the Chippewa County Jail. Other underage persons at that location were issued citations for underage drinking.  Additional changes may be requested depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Most residents do not realize just how much time is consumed by these types of investigations. Smaller agencies like Lake Hallie that do not have detectives and have officers that work alone can easily find themselves to be stretched to their limits. In this case the juvenile party started at about 12:50am and the warrant was served at about 6:00am with the final interview being concluded at about 1:00pm, on Saturday. City of Chippewa Falls Police assisted with helping the Lake Hallie Officers to secure the residence.


The officers’ attention to details and willingness to following through with what was originally a minor incident allowed this search warrant to be possible. The two officers were very diligent in their duties, despite the large amount of time needed to process this house.

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