New documents show feds' investigation on marijuana taken from tribal land

On Friday, October 23 the DEA said it removed at least 30,000 marijuana plants. (WLUK/Don Steffens)

Federal investigators and the Menominee Indian Tribe continue to disagree about what was found in a field west of Suring, in Menominee County.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said it found 30,000 high-grade marijuana plants. Tribal officials said the plants were part of an industrial hemp crop.

A federal application and affidavit for search warrant shows last Monday, an agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Assistant United States Attorney met with the tribe to "obtain samples of the industrial hemp."

During the collection process, agents noticed vehicles with out-of-state license plates that included Colorado. After further investigation, officials said they realized the man overseeing the operation was from Colorado, and associated with a cannabis consulting organization.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent the plant samples to be tested.

Some plants were negative of marijuana and THC while another batch tested positive.

FOX 11 reached out to members of the Menominee Indian Tribe for more information but they told us they will not go on camera and told us to reference last Friday's press release.

A statement from Menominee Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw said, "I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe. We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill."

The tribe's statement admitted there has been a disagreement with the U.S. attorney's office as to whether or not the tribe's industrial hemp crop was in compliance with the federal 2014 Farm Bill.

On Monday, the DEA continues to say it hasn't made any arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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