GREEN BAY - Brown County prosecutors filed charges Thursday against seven more suspects they say are involved in a large-scale drug ring.
Since last week Wednesday, a total of 17 people have been accused of taking part in what prosecutors call the area's largest heroin distribution conspiracy.
FOX 11 spoke with a former Madison police officer, who has worked cases much like this. Larry Kamholz currently runs a private security company. He tells me there are reasons cases like these are kept secret during the investigation.
"There's an ongoing investigation that could potentially involve more people and by getting out the information or making it public it could very well jeopardize future arrests that they are trying to make,” said Kamholz.
Kamholz says safety is also a potential factor when it comes to large-scale investigations.
"Whether or not there's undercovers or there's confidential informants, their safety, not knowing the specifics of the case we're talking about, there potentially could be a community concern that they protect the community from potential harm,” Kamholz said.
Kamholz says authorities must also protect ongoing investigations to make sure prosecutors have a solid case to present in court.
"Making sure everything is handled appropriately and by the law, and evidence is gathered, and information is gathered enough that when it goes to court there's enough probable cause and enough evidence to prosecute effectively the individuals who are involved and get these people off our streets,” said Kamholz.
Prosecutors say the heroin ring was going on for around 10 months. Kamholz says that time frame, plus the ongoing nature of the investigation, makes it more than likely it's a very significant case.
"It's probably going to be expanding to more than one area, and typically when we have drug related incidents they start in one small community or one small area and they quickly blossom into many people connected in different communities and potentially even different states,” Kamholz said.
Kamholz adds these large-scale busts often begin with tip. Police will work that angle and get more and more information and continue to build the case until they get to the point where they've got enough information and evidence where they can make arrests.