Minnesota law enforcement agencies have reported increased levels of drug seizures in 2019. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, several specialized police teams seized more of several types of drugs during the year. These police task forces, called Violent Crime Enforcement Teams, reportedly aim to investigate drug crimes along with gang issues and violent crimes. State officials said that they concentrate their efforts on higher-level suppliers and distributors or large networks for drug distribution.
Meth seizures hit a record
Methamphetamine seizures reported by state officials have grown consistently over the past 12 years, with each year’s results setting a new record. This was no different in 2019, when 1,706 pounds of meth were seized. This marks a 642% increase in the amount of meth seized in the past five years. The state began keeping records of meth seizures by these teams in 2007, when they seized 68.47 pounds statewide. However, the vast majority of meth seized was related to drug distribution rather than manufacturing. State officials said they discovered four labs manufacturing meth in Minnesota in 2019, down from 410 labs in 2003.
State officials still targeting marijuana
Despite widespread public enthusiasm for greater cannabis decriminalization or legalization in the state, officials continued to seize a number of cannabis products. State officials said that much of the product came from states where cannabis was legal, potentially casting some doubt on the focus on high-level drug crimes and gangs. State officials said that they seized 62% more cannabis concentrates like shatter, waxes or butters in 2019 than in the previous year, indicating a strong focus on marijuana-related offenses.
Drug charges in Minnesota
State officials also highlighted several other drugs widely seized in 2019, including heroin and cocaine. Those accused of drug crimes in Minnesota may face serious consequences, including jail time, heavy fines or a felony criminal record that could interfere with education, housing or employment in the future. If you have been accused of a drug offense, a criminal defense attorney might be able to help challenge police evidence and aim to prevent a conviction.