A six month long undercover investigation led to a major drug bust in western Wisconsin this weekend.
The city of New Richmond is one of western Wisconsin's fastest growing communities. There's still that small town fee but it' not Mayberry said New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad, "I think everybody knows drugs are present in the city, and in the county."
If they didn't before, they sure will now.
Over the course of the weekend, a dozen people police call 'small time' drug dealers were rounded up and arrested, following a multi-agency investigation.
St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said most weren't working together, "They more than likely know each other, are they associated in drug trafficking, a couple of them were, but the majority of them were not cooperating with each other."
Back in April, New Richmond police hired an undercover officer to infiltrate the city's drug circles. Over the next six months he made connections, regularly purchasing marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy.
St. Croix County Attorney Eric Johnson was skeptical at first, "I wondered at first as to whether in a small community it would work to have an undercover officer and how long could he last without being outed. In the end, it lasted longer than I had anticipated, and he was very productive."
No one is saying that those arrested are kingpins or are running huge operations in St Croix County, but in then the quality of life isn't measured in grams or kilos.
"Whether you're dealing small amounts of marijuana, or meth or coke, or whatever, that there's going to be accountability," said Johnson.
By Dana Thiede, KARE 11 News