Washburn County Sheriff’s Office with the Department of Natural Resources Wardens, conducted a search warrant this morning at W2150 Spring Lake Road in the Township of Springbrook. The basis of the search warrant and arrest of the owner of this property, August Schmidt DOB: 07/27/58 is as follows:
On 08-30-17 at around 7:00 pm, DNR Warden Pete Carlson responded to a hotline in SE Polk County on public land, of a possible illegal ginseng harvester. Apparently, a legal harvester, who had secured permission to harvest on the Township lands, arrived at one of his ginseng locations and discovered it had been harvested before the season. He called the DNR hotline.
Warden Carlson conducted surveillance on the suspect car in the parking area and attempted contact with the suspect, August Schmidt, as he exited the woods with muddy camo clothes and carrying a heavy backpack. The suspect was able to elude Warden Carlson and left the scene at a high rate of speed. Carlson was unable to run back to his truck in time to follow the suspect vehicle.
Wardens Hagen, Loining, Peters, and a Washburn County Deputy attempted contact with the suspect at his residence in Washburn County. While at the residence, officers discovered several marijuana plants growing near the suspect’s residence.
Washburn County Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant and a subsequent search of the residence uncovered 114 marijuana plants growing in the surrounding woods, in the residence and around 5lbs of illegally harvested wild ginseng drying in the residence.
Schmidt appeared in the Washburn County Circuit Court this afternoon, Schmidt is charged with Felony Manufacturing of THC, Felony Possession of THC and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Schmidt was released on a $500 Signature Bond. Further charges may be forthcoming and the DNR will be pursuing obstructing charges and charges as it relates to the illegal harvest ginseng.
Per Washburn County Sheriff Dryden