By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Authorities uncover $220K+ pot operation
La Crosse man arrested after five-month investigation
marijuana plants
Investigators seized 112 marijuana plants with a street value of $224,000 Oct. 17 during a drug bust in rural Vernon County. - photo by Contributed/Vernon County Sheriff's Office

A five-month investigation into a marijuana growing operation in Vernon County culminated Oct. 17 in the arrest of a La Crosse man.

Mark Kummeth, 45, was taken into custody after police raided a cabin on Jug Creek Road near La Farge, where he resides during the summer.

He fled toward a wooded area when authorities arrived with a search warrant, but was captured by Chief Deputy Nathan Campbell of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers also seized numerous bags of processed marijuana, as well as items used in manufacturing marijuana.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and the West Central Metropolitan Group (MEG) drug task force then went to an outdoor growing site  in Kickapoo township and southern Franklin township, where marijuana was being grown on property owned by Leland Peterson, and seized 112 plants with a street value of $224,000.

According to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in Viroqua, no evidence exists at this time that Peterson was involved in the operation, which was discovered in June.

Investigators from both agencies located the plants in different areas of the property and monitored them until some were harvested earlier this month.

Kummeth faces charges of  manufacturing and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. A bond hearing was held Oct. 20 at the Vernon County Courthouse in Viroqua. No details were available at press time.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also assisted with the investigation, which is continuing.

According to a Sheriff’s Office press release, more arrests may be forthcoming.