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Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force seizes marijuana, $395,000 cash


News Release

On Thursday, October 6, 2005, at approximately 2 p.m., Marc F. Russo, 46, of rural Ridgeway, Wisconsin, was stopped by a Sarpy County sheriff's deputy on Interstate 80 near Gretna, Nebraska. The deputy's K-9 partner alerted to the presence of drugs inside Russo's vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed 201 pounds of marijuana. Russo was arrested by the deputy and faces charges in Nebraska of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance and a tax stamp violation.

On Thursday evening, authorities in Nebraska contacted the Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force (RIGDTF) regarding Russo's arrest. RIGDTF investigators obtained a search warrant for Russo's residence. The search warrant was served at Russo's residence at approximately 11:13 p.m. During the search of the property, investigators discovered the following items:

• approximately three pounds of marijuana in individually wrapped one pound packages

• additional marijuana in smaller quantities, totaling less than one pound

• Scales, vacuum-sealing equipment, bags, and other packaging material

• multiple packages of plastic vacuum-sealed US currency, totaling $378,960.00

• a paper sack containing $14,000 in US currency

• additional US currency, totaling approximately $3,000.00

• two 22 caliber rifles and a 12 gauge shotgun

• various drug paraphernalia

Timothy K. O'Brien, 47, an occupant of the residence, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

This case remains under investigation.

RIGDTF was assisted by the Iowa County Sheriff's Department, the Mt. Horeb Police Department K-9 Unit, the Iowa County District Attorney's Office, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional drug investigation organization, comprised of members from the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the Iowa County Sheriff's Department, the Grant County Sheriff's Department, the Platteville Police Department, the Dodgeville Police Department, and the Richland Center Police Department. The Platteville Police Department serves as lead agency for the task force.

Media Inquiries:

Task Force Director - Lieutenant Scott Marquardt, Platteville Police Dept.,

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