Increase of drug seizures setting off alarms across state of Minnesota

From methamphetamine to prescription pills, drugs are being seized at an alarming rate in Minnesota. Illicit drug use threatens the safety and health of communities across the state as lives are lost and families destroyed by their use and abuse.

In 2016, violent crime enforcement teams seized a record 488 pounds of meth off the streets, a 484 percent increase since meth seizures was at its lowest levels in 2009 (83 pounds). Prescription pill seizures, which includes opioids, increased by 231 percent in 2016 over the previous year.

“The rate at which drugs are being seized around the state should concern every Minnesotan,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “Law enforcement can’t win this battle alone. We need parents, educators and the peers of those who take drugs to say enough is enough. Together we can save lives.”

Drug seizures on the rise
Violent crime enforcement teams, which are partially funded by the Office of Justice Programs, are multijurisdictional task forces that investigate narcotics, gangs and violent crime. The teams have increased their presence across the state in recent years in an effort to identify major drug traffickers, focusing on high-level dealers and suppliers.