Minnesota set a dubious record in 2017 when Minnesota’s Violent Crime Enforcement Teams seized more drugs than ever last year. Although increases were seen in many drugs, one law enforcement official said methamphetamine was rural Minnesota’s “drug of choice” in 2017, as the drug set a record amount of seizures for the eighth consecutive year.
Meth wasn’t the only drug that saw large increases in seizures in 2017. Both heroin and prescription pills saw massive increases in seizures as well.
“We are very concerned about the increases throughout the state in all of these categories,” said Statewide Gang and Drug Coordinator Brian Marquart.
Increases in Drug Seizures
According to the MVCET, part of the increase was due to the team’s increased focus on mid-to high-level drug dealers throughout the state, which led to some bigger drug busts. However, the team also noted that there was greater international drug production in some parts of the world, and those drugs made their way into Minnesota.
According to law enforcement:
- There was a 28 percent increase in the amount of meth seized in Minnesota in 2017 compared to 2016.
- 42 pounds of heroin was seized in 2017, up from just 11 pounds last year.
- The majority of the meth and heroin made its way to Minnesota from Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
- Meth seizures were more popular in rural Minnesota, while heroin seizures were more popular in the seven-county metro area.
- Prescription pill confiscations increased by 266 percent in 2017, fueled by a 100,000 pill bust in northwest Minnesota.
- Nearly twice as much marijuana was seized in 2017 compared to 2016 in Minnesota.
- Officials seized nearly 100 times more hashish and marijuana wax in 2017 compared to four years ago.
- On a brighter note, seizures of crack cocaine dropped from 1.3 pounds in 2016 to just over one pound in 2017.
“It’s not a concentrated effort that was made on pills,” Marquart said of the rise. “It was, however, a concentrated effort that was made around opiates in general … whether it’s heroin or prescription opioids or synthetic opioids.”
Drug sales and their use are clearly a problem all across Minnesota, and we’ve noticed a similar trend in the cases we receive. Avery and his team have seen an uptick in the number of drug possession and sales criminal cases they’ve handled, so they are very experienced at helping people through the criminal justice system. So if you’ve been charged with a drug crime in the greater Twin Cities area and you don’t know where to turn, reach out to Appelman Law Firm today. It costs nothing to reach out to us, and we offer a free case evaluation where we can go over your case details and discuss your options. To set up that meeting, give us a call at (952) 224-2277.