Minnesota law enforcement agencies are cracking down on individuals involved in methamphetamine trafficking in the state. In fact, authorities say that the state’s Violent Crime Enforcement Teams seized a record amount of meth in 2019 for the 12th year in a row.
One such seizure occurred when a deputy from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office pulled over a vehicle that was speeding on Highway 61 at around 3 a.m. on Dec. 3. A search of the vehicle allegedly uncovered an unspecified amount of methamphetamine, leading to the arrest of the driver, a Wisconsin man. The seizure was part of a massive meth haul brought in by various state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the year. In total, officers seized 1,706 pounds of meth in 2019, which is 642% more than was seized five years ago.
While methamphetamine seizures have skyrocketed, local production of the drug has plummeted. In 2003, authorities busted 410 labs within Minnesota’s borders. However, by 2019, that number dropped to just four. Officials believe that most meth rings in the state now obtain their supply from Mexican drug cartels. Meanwhile, much of the state’s marijuana supply is being transported in from states that have legalized the drug for medicinal or recreational purposes.
In order to reduce the number of drug felonies committed in the state, law enforcement agencies are focusing on drug traffickers, high-level dealers, and suppliers. However, many other low-level, and even completely innocent, people can get caught up in these stings. When that happens, it might be necessary to contact a criminal defense attorney for help. In some cases, legal counsel may discover that authorities violated an individual’s rights during the search process, which could cause the charges to be dropped.