Grant Drug Task Force

Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force can be reached at its toll-free telephone number: 1-877-882-6677 We can also be found on the web at with a goal of increasing police arrests

Check out these informational websites:
Pictures and Definitions of Illegal Drugs
State of Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance

Effects of Ecstasy
Over the past two years, the Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force has seen a major increase in the use and sales of the drug MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy. Ecstasy is a combination of a potent stimulant and a low-level hallucinogen. It is seen almost exclusively in a pill form. The drug affects the body’s level of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that influences such functions as sleep, mood, memory functions and eating habits. When under the influence of the drug, users will feel a sense of emotional closeness with those around them, coupled with a breakdown of personal communication barriers. People taking ecstasy find that the drug affects all of their senses: visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as feeling pleasure from touch are common experiences. Other physical effects often associated with ecstasy are muscle tension, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, chills, and sweating. Ecstasy will also raise body temperature. Most ecstasy-related deaths have been caused by body temperatures above 105 degrees. People on ecstasy will often clench and grind their teeth involuntarily, and counteract this effect by sucking on baby pacifiers. To heighten the sensitivity to ecstasy, users will use Vicks Vapor-rub in an inhaler tube or by coating the inside of a particle mask, which they then breathe deeply to “enhance” the high. Unlike most pills, ecstasy tablets more often than not have designs stamped into them (Y2K, Playboy bunny, smiley faces, etc.), making them easier to identify as ecstasy. The pills can be found in virtually any color. For a sample of what ecstasy pills look like, check out this website (site is in German but has many excellent pictures):
Ecstasy Awareness Sessions Available
Ecstasy use is on the rise in the area, especially with teenagers and young adults, but more information is needed about the drug and its effects. The Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force has developed a presentation that focuses on ecstasy and other popular club drugs in an effort to educate other agencies and the public. This presentation shows the dangers of ecstasy, signs of use, ecstasy paraphernalia, and pictures of what the pills and tablets look like. The task force can modify the presentation for virtually any audience. If anyone would like a presentation given to their agency, or know of any organizations or groups that would be interested in receiving a presentation, please contact the Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force at 1-877-882-6677.

Members of the Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force
The Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force began on January 1, 2000, as a cooperative effort between the Platteville Police Department, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, the Dodgeville Police Department and the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department. All four agencies contribute to the day-to-day functions of the task force. As the lead agency for the task force, the Platteville Police Department provides supervisory oversight. Lieutenant Doug McKinley of the Platteville Police Department is the current task force project director. Sergeant Scott Marquardt of the Platteville Police Department is the supervisor of day-to-day operations and works as an investigator for the unit. Deputy Steve Bennett of the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Vance Van Kirk of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department work with the task force full-time as investigators. Also assisting the task force with investigations is Officer Dave Bauer from the Dodgeville Police Department. Officers from throughout the two-county area frequently assist the task force by providing information and potential informants. The task force is also supported by the Prairie du Chien and Madison offices of the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Criminal Investigation-Division of Narcotics Enforcement. In addition to its drug enforcement activities, the second priority of the task force is the education of the two-county area on drug-related topics. Task force officers have spoken with thousands of people since its inception about methamphetamine, ecstasy and club drugs, and other drugs. Several area officers are also members of the Clan Lab Response Team, which will respond to methamphetamine-related incidents in the area. Local officers who are a member of the team include Steve Bennett of the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department; Jack Johnson, Nathan Dreckman, and Craig Reukauf of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department; Kathy Hottenstein and Jeff Haas of the Platteville Police Department; Michael Gorham, Chief of Hazel Green Police Department.

Recent Study Confirms Marijuana as a Gateway Drug
A study released recently examined the relationship between marijuana use in adolescence and the onset of other illicit drug use. Data for the study was gathered over the course of a 21 year period using 1,265 subjects. By the age of 21, just over a quarter of this group reported using various forms of illegal drugs on at least one occasion. Of those reporting the use of illegal drugs, 99% had used marijuana prior to the use of other illegal drugs. Over 1 in 3 of these individuals began smoking marijuana and eventually progressed to other drugs. Other evidence cited in the study that supports the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug is those who used marijuana at least 50 times in a year were 140 times more likely to use other drugs than those not smoking marijuana. The study concluded after analyzing all of the data that was gathered that (1) among non-marijuana users, the use of other forms of illegal drugs was almost non-existent and (2) among regular users of marijuana, the use of other illegal drugs was common. This study, along with others in the past, presents compelling evidence that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug, and provides a strong reason not to decriminalize marijuana, which seems to be gaining support in the political arena.

New Drug Raises Concerns
A new, legal drug has begun to raise concerns in southern Wisconsin. Salvia Divinorum, or Salvia, is a perennial green leafy herb in the mint family that is smoked as a hallucinogen. In a recent survey conducted state wide, Dane County reported that Salvia, along with recognized drugs such as Ecstasy and heroin, was becoming a major drug of concern. Salvia is placed under the tongue or smoked, and gives the user a hallucinogenic high which lasts between 30 minutes to two hours in duration. Salvia is currently under study by the Drug Enforcement Administration for possible control. Although it is found growing naturally only in a small region in Mexico, salvia can be easily grown indoors with little care. Salvia is often purchased online or through alternative publications, such as High Times. It is generally sold in two forms. There is the standard dried leaf of the plant, which is of variable strength. There is also the extract, which is roughly five times the strength of the dried leaf. One gram of the extract will give the user somewhere in the region of 12-15 hits. Although salvia is currently not controlled, those under the influence exhibit similar behavior to those using other hallucinogens, such as mushrooms or acid, which has the potential of creating an officer safety issue for those in law enforcement who have contacts with these individuals.

Recent State Wide Drug Trends
A survey concerning current drug trends across the state was released recently. Ecstasy was cited by over half of the agencies reporting as the primary drug of increasing concern. Also, a vast majority of the agencies also reported that ecstasy is more available now than it was just six months ago, indicating that its popularity is increasing fast. Methamphetamine still remains an area for continued attention. One in five counties in the state cited meth as an escalating problem. Cocaine and crack followed behind meth as a drug of increasing concern. Marijuana was also cited as the most abused illicit drug in Wisconsin, with the average price for an ounce decreasing. This price decrease suggests that marijuana supply is outweighing demand. Drugs such as GHB, black tar heroin, ketamine, and mushrooms continue to be difficult to find, as these drugs are not readily available, thus making them more expensive than other drugs. The survey also pointed out that the cost of illicit drugs in general is increasing, which suggests a tightening of the drug supply in Wisconsin relative to demand. Only commercial grade marijuana and ecstasy have been decreasing in price.

News Release Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force
On February 22, 2001 the Iowa Grant Drug Task Force served a search warrant at the Bryce Pascoe residence, 12060 Tormey Rd. in rural Stitzer, WI. The search warrant was the result of over 5 weeks of investigation in Iowa and Grant counties. The search warrant was issued through the Grant Co. District Attorney’s Office. Seized at the residence were the following, over 10 ounces of cocaine with a street value in excess of $30,000.00, approximately 5 ounces of marijuana with a street value of roughly $1,600.00, over $25,000 in U.S. currency, two vehicles, drug paraphernalia, and five firearms. Bryce Pascoe, age 35, was arrested at the scene and transported to the Grant Co. Jail. He has since been released from custody. Further arrests and follow-up investigation are anticipated. The matter will be forwarded to the Grant Co. District Attorney for review. The Wisconsin Division of Narcotics Enforcement assisted the Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force in the investigation. The search warrant was executed by the Grant Co. Crisis Response Team which was assisted by the Iowa Co. Emergency Response Team and the Platteville Tactical Response Team. The Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force (IGDTF) is comprised of officers from the Iowa Co Sheriff’s Department, the Grant Co. Sheriff’s Department, the Platteville Police Department and the Dodgeville Police Department. Inquiries about this incident or any other information related to drug activity may be directed to the Drug Tip Hotline at the IGDTF at 1-877-882-6677.
***All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.***